The Adventures Of A Real-Life Superhero

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After Hollywood spent a decade bombarding us with latex-clad vigilantes, it's as surprising as a loser-turns-hero origin story that a movement of real-life superheroes would spring up on our nation's streets. Or rather, the streets of Seattle, Wash.

But on Sunday, the leader of the Rain City Superhero Movement (as they are known), had his own brush with law, arrested for pepper-spraying a group of people who were allegedly just having a wholesome good time.

That wasn't what it looked like from the distance, he says.

"There was a person on the ground who was getting stomped," Phoenix Jones told the Daily News. "It was one guy versus what looked like eight people. I honestly thought the guy's life was in danger."

So Jones sprinted over in his black and yellow body armor, ballistic vest, and arm and leg trauma plates, updated from his more Zorro-flavored, fedora-topped costume of yesteryear. After dispersing the group with some spicy spritzes and shouts of "Break it up!," one girl chased after him, smacking Jones with her high heels, and calling him "stupid."

The 22-year-old and his co-crusaders all have military or martial arts backgrounds. After dark, they ride around in a Kia Fate registered to one of their godmothers, defending the streets of Starbucks' hometown, equipped with billy clubs, tasers, and bottles of pepper spray, all permissible under Washington state's "open-carry" laws.

Jones, whose real name is Benjamin John Francis Fodor, has had other tussles in the past. One time he was stabbed while trying to intervene between a drug dealer and "a citizen," according to Seattle police.

In another incident, Jones and five members of his league (one a woman) called in a harassment complaint to the police. When authorities arrived, they found the villain to be a man swinging a golf club and making threatening statements.

Their nemesis went free, however, because the "costume-wearing complainants" wanted to stay anonymous.

"There's nothing wrong with citizens getting involved with the criminal justice process -- as long as they follow it all the way through," Seattle police department spokesman Jeff Kappel told the Seattle Post Intelligencer.

But Jones has rebounded once again, writing on his Facebook page that he was back defending the defenseless Monday evening. He spent a total of seven hours in jail, but walked after posting $3,800 bail, reports the Seattle PI. He's due in court on Thursday.

Upholding the law with too much in enthusiasm, may, at some point, just be illegal.




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