Every child dreams of being a superhero…most grown adults, on the other hand, have more realistic goals, like buying a house or starting a family. Benjamin John Francis Fodor is not like most men. For one, he’s pretty ripped. For another, he’s a costumed vigilante.
Armed with a can of pepper spray and delusions of grandeur, Fodor adopted the nom de guerre, “Phoenix Jones”, and stomped around Seattle in a black and gold latex costume. Initially, Fodor kept things simple and reported crimes to the police, which I’m sure they appreciated greatly. Even if he was wearing a costume while doing it.
To be fair, Fodor isn’t like most superhero wannabes. He admits to years of training in hand-to-hand combat and currently holds a 15-0 mixed martial arts record though only 4 of those matches were professional. The others? Unsanctioned… which could just be a professional category that distinguishes matches sponsored by a recognized league but we at The Security Blanket prefer to interpret “unsanctioned” MMA matches as backroom bar brawls where the loser is killed for being a disappointment. It’s unlikely but we can dream, right?
At some point, the appeal of performing random good deeds wore off and Fodor decided to escalate things a little bit. He pieced together a team of crime fighters named the “Rain City Superhero Movement”, which included his wife “Purple Reign”, and began busting Seattle’s criminals with the help of a stun baton and tear gas. For his own protection, Fodor’s costume includes stab plating and a DragonSkin bulletproof vest.
Things went pretty well for awhile. Phoenix Jones claims to have stopped a few robberies in progress and survived a few close calls, including one bullet that was caught by his vest. As Fodor’s pubic profile increased, things started to take a turn for the worse. During one robbery, Fodor got his nose broken by a criminal while another attempted to pull a gun on him. Then came the worst shame a superhero can suffer: Fodor got arrested.
On October 9, 2011, Fodor attempted to break up a fight outside a bar in downtown Seattle… or so he thought. Fodor used pepper spray on the four individuals involved with the fight and called police. When authorities arrived, they arrested Fodor for assault. The victims claimed they hadn’t been fighting, only dancing.
Phoenix Jones was held for a few hours, in costume, and released on $3,800 bail. (He also appeared before the judge in costume but was told to remove his mask, which he did.) The incident has brewed into a bit of controversy in Seattle as Fodor claims he was attacked by the crowd and was only using the pepper spray as a defensive weapon. Local cameramen have offered video supporting the claim but police stand by their report and have shown little interest in the evidence.
Authorities maintain that average citizens should leave the crime fighting to professionals. Fodor/Phoenix Jones has agreed to hang up his costume… for now.
What do you think of this costumed vigilante? Criminal or hero? Comment below!