Meet the man that became a Ninja Turtle

His home is a little shitty

Justin was like any other kid growing up in the ’90s; he idolized the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. He spent his Saturday mornings watching the latest episodes before running outside to reenact his favorite scenes. He recalls fond memories of him and his friends forming their own ninja squad and thwarting the evil-doers of their neighborhood. All of that may have been pretend, but art imitates life and Justin turned his idolization of TMNT into a career path.

His passion for the Turtle’s saw Justin take up training in various martial arts during his teens. He has studied Karate, Jiu-Jitsu and Hung Gar Fist, among a few others. Justin also joined the wrestling team at his high school, winning a few championships during his amateur career. When applying for colleges, the next logical step was to start looking for ways to protect his neighbors as a career. While being a vigilante was a bit outside of his reach, becoming a trained law official was at least a way to realize his dream of being a hero in a legal way.

“My favorite aspect,” Justin recalls, “was the bravery that each turtle showed in the face of adversity. Nothing was too strong for them and the threats that did provide trouble were overcome with the power of friendship. That is what I wanted to bring to this city.” The city, of course, was the homestead of the Turtle’s; New York City.

Having such a familiarity bred appreciation from Justin in his youth. While the cartoon may not have been a 1:1 representation of the streets Justin inhabited, the atmosphere was captured perfectly. Justin studied the way the Turtle’s moved and was able to adapt their style while chasing pretend criminals with his friends. This eventually bled over into his career at the NYPD, but something just wasn’t right for Justin.

Now 34, Justin has never forgotten the impact that the Turtles have had for him. “I eventually became the leader of my own team at the department,” Justin recounts, “but we can’t always be there. Sometimes, a perp gets away and we’re left with no legal recourse. The Turtle’s would never stop with ‘good enough’.”

That last bit is what always nagged at Justin. While the Turtle’s confronted every adversity head-on, they never had to consult a police chief or follow the law with such strict adherence. Not content with just being a police chief for the NYPD, Justin has left the force and is now building a shelter in the sewers to better emulate his heroes.

“It has taken me roughly 25 years, but I am finally living that dream,” Justin proudly boasts. “Even if my dream is a bit oft-kilter, I’m definitely going to make sure this city gets the protection it deserves.” Justin isn’t going to let something like the legal system stop him from protecting the citizens of New York.

While I was able to speak with Justin, I wasn’t allowed to follow him to his new home in the sewers. Some rare photographs have surfaced of Justin prowling through the depths, but no one is certain where his base of operations lies. While the NYPD considers their former ally as AWOL, my read from our conversation paints a different picture.

Justin is a man with justice in his heart. While he may have taken his devotion to a cartoon show a bit too far, he isn’t out to harm innocent civilians. If you are a criminal and are looking to bring harm and decay to New York, Justin has got your number and won’t stop in his pursuit of finding you.

Much like his journey to becoming a Ninja Turtle, Justin is determined and won’t give up.

About The Author
Peter Glagowski
Former Dtoid staff member.
More Stories by Peter Glagowski