His name is Benjamin Fodor, but you may know him as Phoenix Jones, protector of the city of Seattle, Washington. He has dedicated his life to protecting the lives of the good people of Seattle, but right now he is behind bars. While trying to diffuse a situation on the streets of Seattle, Jones used pepper spray at the scene of a supposed fight and has been accused of unjust use of the said weapon.
Fodor, or “Phoenix Jones” is part of a of real life superheroes group called the “Rain City Superhero Movement.” They are members of the public who take it upon themselves to costume up with custom-made superhero garb and they patrol the streets of their local cities. While Batman squares up to The Joker and Superman battles Doomsday, you’re more likely to find the “RCSM” tackling baddies such as car thieves and the drunk and disorderly.
They are not working with the police, they’re more of a vigilante movement. In fact, their local police departments try to dissuade them from their self-imposed beats. They claim they’re doing more harm than good. Which stands to reason. Imagine a simple arrest like nabbing a car thief. It’s a fairly routine arrest for a police officer. But when you throw a costumed civilian into the mix, things get a little more complicated.
Which is what happened in the early hours of October 9, 2011. Whilst conducting his nightly patrol of Seattle, Phoenix heard a disturbance among a group of drunken revelers. Assuming a fight was going down, Phoenix leapt into action and started to administer pepper spray to the group. Phoenix probably believed he was doing it for “Truth, Justice and the American Way” but it turned out that it wasn’t a fight after all. He mistook a bunch of noisy drunk people for a group of citizens locking horns. A uniformed policeman happened by the scene and arrested Jones on the spot.
Now I believe that Phoenix Jones and the rest of the Rain City Superhero Movement have the best of intentions, but isn’t this really just a group of grown up people living out their childhood fantasies? I admire them for their willingness to help out, but wouldn’t their efforts really be best served by becoming legit police officers? That’s where they can make a difference. All they really are is a dog-and-pony show to your average Joe Blow. I’m not knocking their intentions, I’m just questioning their methods.