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News & Music Contributors
Thu October 13, 2011
Seattle ‘superhero’ evades charges; next Hollywood action figure?
Prosecutors have filed no charges, as of yet, against the self-proclaimed Seattle superhero who goes by the name Phoenix Jones.
Jones, whose real name is Benjamin John Francis Fodor (and whose real face can be seen in the photos above), appeared in a city courtroom Thursday morning wearing a charcoal-colored mask and a superhero uniform under a button-down shirt.
The ‘superhero’s’ costume, exploits and court appearance are fast becoming internationally recognizable. Could this fortune (for good or ill) make Fodor’s character the next Hollywood action figure?
The Website Tauntr.com, which says it is the “new brand in sports entertainment that stands for original, edgy, humorous and intelligent multi-media content” has styled an action figure out of Phoenix Jones (seen above).
“Seattle's own real life superhero, Phoenix Jones has gotten a bum rap as of late. The man risks his life day in and day out to help keep our streets safe from the scum of the Earth, and what do the police do? They arrest him for pepper spraying a group of low lives during a brawl. So what if they were "dancing" and not fighting? They could have been fighting!
“Just because the police don't have the superhuman smarts to make split-second decisions like Jones, doesn't mean they should lock him up like a common criminal. We here at Tauntr support Phoenix Jones and all he has done for Seattle. So we have decided to immortalize him with his very own action figure.
"Thank you Phoenix Jones. Wherever you are.”
Tauntr’s co-founder and president Lane Murphy told Seattlepi.com: "We are not in fact going into the action figure manufacturing business ... simply creating a piece of parody of content centered around a very interesting story."
And, apparently someone thinks the masked man is worth of this (spoof?) set of movie trailers (in German!):
Phoenix Jones - Movie Trailer (1)
Phoenix Jones - Movie trailer (2)
The serious side
However, as Seattle police point out in the below video documenting, this ‘superhero’ may not have the superpowers necessary to keep from becoming a victim himself.
“Real Life Superhero Phoenix Jones Gets Broken Nose Fighting Crime!”
Also at his hearing this morning, prosecutors told a judge they needed more time to decide whether to file charges.
Jones was arrested Sunday after police say he pepper sprayed a group of people downtown as they left a nightclub. He says he was trying to break up a fight when he was attacked.
Not so super
Not everyone is a fan of Fodor’s Phoenix Jones, either.
One of the women seen on a video taken of the incident that landed Fodor in court, is seen hitting her shoe. She said he pepper sprayed her friends for no reason, KING 5 reported.
The woman told KING 5 that she was with a group of about 15 friends early Sunday morning, near Western and Columbia, when a masked man Phoenix Jones ran up and pepper sprayed them.
"He says, 'I'm a superhero' and sprays everyone," she told the television station.
Seattle Police said the incident is an example of how vigilantism can go awry.
Fodor’s supporters have posted a 14-minute video (with too many obscenities for us to be able to embed) that they say shows Jones was trying to break up a fight.
The man behind the mask
During the hearing, a court officer asked Jones to remove his mask and he complied. But he put the mask back on after the hearing to speak with reporters — then dramatically removed it again to reveal his true identity.
"There were no charges filed, so I will continue to patrol," Fodor told the group of reporters outside King County Jail, where he had the 9 a.m. hearing. "I'm gonna be out with my team probably tonight."
On the Web: