Real Life Superhero Arrested!

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.

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8 comments on “Real Life Superhero Arrested!

  1. First . . . you should try a little fact checking. The incident did not happen quite the way you have represented it. Of course, the truth might not serve to make your point.

    I walked the streets where the incident came down in the wee hours of the morning (5:30AM) for 10 years to get from my drop off point for mass transit to my job. Not once did I see the SPD. There was no police presence. There were all manner of unsavory types.

    Phoenix Jones is an articulate and intelligent young man with a cause. Should you do a little checking you might find what I did . . . a compassionate and concerned human being. So what if he uses a superhero suit to get people to take notice. It is time people got involved in the community and I say if this is what it takes, so be it.

    • Thank you for your comment! When I write my posts, I do the best job I can with checking the facts. But of course I can get things wrong so I appreciate your input.

      I was very concious in not dishing out any negative labels and I did not call the intelligence of Phoenix Jones into question. The worst thing I wrote was “All they really are is a dog-and-pony show to your average Joe Blow.” And the context I wrote that in was that they are most likely not perceived well by the public are not given the respect they may deserve. However I still stand by my statement that their efforts would be best served if they were to enter the police force. The costumes may serve as just a distraction.

      • Sorry if that seemed harsh. It was not my intent. There are a lot of versions of the story floating around the electronic universe. Again, my apologies.

        I do, however, doubt joining the police force would help as here in Seattle this institution as well as many others are experiencing cutbacks. The thing that keeps getting missed in the reporting is that Jones immediately instructed those with him to call 911. That is the only reason the police showed up. There are no patrols of the area. The police are just too busy. If you wait for the police to show up, well, sadly it could very well be too late.

        As I said I had to walk those streets and the people like those in the video make it not only unsafe for folks like me but very uncomfortable as well. Just saying, it isn’t a bad thing. Maybe the police should try working with the citizenry instead of seeing them as the enemy. I can’t say it enough, but calling 911 does not bring the police rushing to your aid and many of these young thugs are just looking to harass and intimidate anyone they come across and then disappear into the night. Its how they get their kicks.

        IMHO

      • No need to apologize 🙂

        Geographically, I’m located nowhere near the scene of said crime and have no knowledge of the area. The way you describe Seattle it seems that it’s citizens are pretty much forced to take care of themselves. A very sad state of affairs in my opinion. So if it takes a guy in a costume to make a difference, then so be it!

  2. I agree they should be legit and organized but remain in costume. Hear me out: the old methods aren’t working, kids – or adults, for that matter – DON’T RESPECT POLICE OFFICERS ANYMORE!
    We need symbols, fully-trained, of course.
    Maybe I’m nuts, but something has to change.
    And yesterday.

    • As a civilization I think we’ve come to a crossroads when it comes to protecting from the “good guys” from the “bad guys.” Good people and bad people used to be polar opposites. Like black and white. Today is just filled with shades of gray. I don’t know if superheroes are the solution, but the system we have in place right now is clearly failing.

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