October 10, 2011

Benjamin Jones aka Phoenix Jones - Charged With Dressing Up As Superhero, Assaulting Four People

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Seattle, Washington (The Weekly Vice) - Benjamin Fodor, a 23-year-old Seattle man and self proclaimed superhero has been jailed after he allegedly tried to break up a fight, but instead landed in jail on assault charges.

According to Seattle Police, officers were dispatched after a pedestrian called 911 to report a hit-and-run incident at a Seattle location. Officers arrived to find a woman who said she wasn't aware of any hit-and-run accident, but that she and her friends had been attacked and pepper sprayed by a man in a superhero costume.

The victim told police that she and her friends had just left a nearby nightclub when they began "dancing and frolicking" with each other in the street. That's when someone in a superhero costume came running "full sprint" towards her group and then discharged pepper spray at them. All four victims claimed that they had been assaulted and had suffered effects from the pepper spray.

Officers searched the area and found a masked suspect that identified himself as Benjamin Fodor. Fodor uses the alias "Phoenix Jones" when he suits up in his superhero costume and patrols the city looking for crime fighting opportunities.

When asked about his behavior, Fodor told police that he was responding to what he thought were two men fighting. He admitted to discharging the pepper spray in an attempt to break up the fight. He could not explain, however, why two women had also been doused with pepper spray.

Two observers who apparently tagged along with Fodor to document his crime fighting techniques told police that they had video taped the incident. The men consented to showing police the video they had captured.

Officers concluded that a group had gathered in the street, but there did not appear to be a fight in progress. Fodor could be seen on video running into the group and deploying pepper spray on the victims. The group then chased Fodor away.

The victims told police that no one had been fighting and that they wanted Fodor arrested for assaulting them.

As noted in the police report, Fodor belongs to a group who refer to themselves as the Rain City Superhero Movement. The group reportedly has a history of injecting themselves into incidents they believe to be crimes in progress. Police noted that Fodor has been advised to report criminal activities to authorities, but that he continues to "resolve things on his own."

Police also noted that they had received a call earlier from individuals who claimed they had been pepper sprayed in a similar manner. Charges were not filed in that case because the alleged victims had disbanded from the area before police arrived.

Foder has his own side of the story. He first came to local media's attention after he saw a car thief attempting to break into a parked car.

Fodor, who was wearing his Phoenix Jones superhero suit, ran straight towards the car thief and chased the man away.

The car's owner told police that he saw a man in a black and gold suit "dash" in and chase the car thief away. Fodor identified himself to media as Phoenix Jones.

Since then, he has become popular with many Seattle residents, and he's been on national news. He has gone viral several times on the Internet. He's even become popular overseas.

Fodor was booked into jail and charged with four counts of aggravated assault with a weapon.

Weekly Vice Opinion:

I would really like to know what that suit costs.

Danny Vice
The Weekly Vice

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