Forget Batman — there is a new vigilante prowling the city streets. His mission? To silence noisy cell phones in public places. His weapon? A cell phone jammer, the latest trend in hot gadgets. 

The jammer, which looks like a walkie-talkie with multiple antennas, works by sending out signals that match frequencies used by cell phones, thus creating interference that keeps phones from connecting to cell towers.

The cell phone jammer in question, who only identified himself to local news crews as Eric, said,

A lot of people are extremely loud, no sense of just privacy or anything. When it becomes a bother, that’s when I screw on the antenna and flip the switch … I guess I’m taking the law into my own hands, and quite frankly, I’m proud of it.”

His fellow passengers were not amused, with one saying, “Every time I see this guy on the bus, I have a mixture of fear and anger. Part of me wants to go up to him and say, ‘Stop doing this, how dare you.’”

But whether you agree with Eric’s vigilantism or not, the bottom line is that cell jammers are illegal — since they can also block GPS, two-way radios and police radios, they’re considered a public safety hazard.

Once Eric was informed of that, he said he’d dispose of the controversial gadget. (Watch a news report on Eric’s mission here.) Is Eric a hero or a menace to modern society?