Update: The image attached is not of Phoenix rushing in to stop the fight. It's after the spraying and Phoenix running to help his partner.A man calling himself the superhero "Phoenix Jones" was arrested and charged with assaulting several people with pepper spray. This is shocking news for all would-be superheros and those who say 911 is a joke.
The 23-year-old man dressed in a mask and bodysuit is alleged to have attacked a group of people leaving a club. The victims say they were just playing and dancing when the man, whose real name is the unheroic Benjamin John Francis Fodor, ran up and pepper-sprayed them.
Fodor says that he observed a fight between two white males and ran into the crowd to break it up. In the process he also pepper sprayed several women one of who went on to attack him and his cameraman.
Tea Krulos, who's writing a book about real-life superheros, witnessed the scene and said, "Six or seven guys were beating up two other guys. One victim was thrown to the ground and kicked in the ribs. Two other guys were wrestling with each other but not in a playful way - and people were screaming."
Seattle Police Det. Mark Jamieson disagreed. "In talking to the victims, they said no, we're all friends here. We were all out having a good time. We were not fighting at all.
"Based on all of that, all the victim and witness testimony, there was probable cause to arrest this individual for assault."
I watched the video and it jives with the police testimony. The video is shaky, but no one looks like their fighting. The guy runs up and starts spraying people who are standing around several feet from one another.
The cops said this has happened before. A police report by "The Smoking Gun" says Fodor "belongs to a group who refer to themselves as superheros," and "have a history of injecting himself in these incidents." Recently, cops added, "there have been increased reports of citizens being pepper sprayed." In fact, police say they got two other reports of someone running up and pepper-spraying people leaving a club. They found no one at the scene, but smelled the after effects. Phoenix Jones "has been advised to observe and report incidents to 911, he continues to try and resolve things on his own."
He feels it's his right and civic duty. He belongs to a Seattle group known as the "Rain City Superhero Movement." On his Facebook page he described himself as "Fighting crime in the streets of Seattle. 'I symbolize that the average person doesn’t have to walk around and see bad things and do nothing.'"
That's right. People should pepper spray anyone they suspect of committing a crime regardless of due process.
Here's what I think. He's filming a documentary on real-life superheroes fighting crime. It's a slow night. He sees what looks like an opportunity to perform on camera and jumps into a situation without knowing the facts.
He messed up and got arrested. End of story.
What do you think? Should people be acting as superheros if they see a crime?
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