The green-haired villain looked truly vanquished as the SacNinja and his sidekicks wrapped him in rope and locked him in a cage in Cesar Chavez Plaza on Wednesday.
SacNinja – also known as 5-year-old Bryant Mordinoia – had just freed Sacramento Police Chief Daniel Hahn from the cage in his last act of local heroism. Dressed as a red ninja, Bryant had been saving Sacramento all day as part of his Make-A-Wish request. He wanted to be a ninja because “ninjas fight bad guys.”
Bryant was just 2 months old when he underwent open-heart surgery for a condition called Tetralogy of Fallot. Test results allowed surgeons to postpone a recently scheduled surgery until next year when it will be less risky. Bryant will face valve repair surgeries every seven to 10 years, but otherwise he should live a normal life, said his father, Justin Mordinoia.
On Tuesday, Bryant received ninja training at the P2O Hot Pilates studio from his two ninja instructors. Ninjas took time out of their Ninja Festival 2017 in Dayton, Ohio, to record lessons for Bryant. Then on Wednesday, Bryant returned to the studio for his test to become a ninja. He passed and received his belt and then news broke of the chief’s abduction.
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KCRA’s Edie Lambert prerecorded a segment announcing Hahn had been kidnapped by a villain and pleaded for ninja power.
“She says ‘last spotted at Golden 1 Center,’” Make-A-Wish spokeswoman Michele Flynn recounted. “So then we go over to Golden 1 Center and then the bad guy sees him and gets scared, and so he grabs Slamson.”
SacNinja saved Slamson, the mascot of the Sacramento Kings, but the bad guy escaped. Another segment from KCRA announced that bad guy was spotted at Bank of the West and a robbery was in progress.
The group, escorted by motorcycle police and with a Sacramento sheriff’s helicopter overhead, rushed to Bank of the West on Capitol Mall. A senior citizen – played by a local actor – was getting robbed at the ATM while depositing her life savings. SacNinja saved her purse, but the villain escaped with her savings.
Another breaking news alert announced the villain was spotted at Cesar Chavez Plaza counting his loot. Dressed in a green vest reminiscent of the Riddler from the Batman comics, “Money Bags Mahoney” had the chief locked in a cage and was laughing maniacally.
SacNinja and his sidekicks crept up on Mahoney and brought him to his knees, where they tied him up and grabbed the key to the chief’s cage.
Justin Mordinoia said Bryant was over the moon about the day of saving Sacramento as a ninja.
“He watches ‘Lego Ninjago’ 24 hours a day, seven days a week and when it got brought up, ‘What would you want to be when you grow up?’ (becoming a ninja) was the first thing he thought of,” Modinoia said. “He walks around the house kicking and punching.”
For his heroism, Bryant was presented with a commemorative coin and a backpack of goodies from Hahn and the key to the city from Councilman Allan Warren.