Monday, October 10, 2011

Real Life Super Hero Arrested in Seattle

I have no idea how this has been going on for at least one year and I have not heard of this before tonight.  Real life super hero Phoenix Jones was arrested this weekend after allegedly pepper spraying a group of nighclubbers.  Did you catch that?  Real life super hero Phoenix Jones...  How cool is that?

Apparently, Seattle is filled with real life costumed crime fighters.  It's not just Phoenix Jones.  According to Seattle Police, there are at least a half dozen other super heroes patrolling the streets, including Thorn, Buster Doe, Green Reaper, Gemini, No Name, and Thunder 88.  Check this out:
SPD had a run in with Jones earlier this month when a concerned citizen called police and reported a potential robbery after they spotted two masked men pull their Kia Forte in to a Capitol Hill gas station with its headlights off in the middle of the night.

The masked men were gone by the time officers arrived, but robbery detectives tracked Jones to his secret lair outside of Seattle and spoke with Jones’ Godmother, who told police he “dresses up like a superhero and goes out with his friends at night and does good deeds,” according to an internal police document.

Police later contacted the masked avenger, who told police “there are some nuts out there engaged in this same type of behavior” and “wanted to make it clear that they were not part of his group.” Jones then agreed to come down to police headquarters and be photographed in-costume...

Jones -- who’s in his early 20s -- tells me how he got into the crimefighting game. About a year ago, he read a quote from one of the Guardian Angels in a comic book which, along with a lifetime of reading comics—especially those of his favorite heroes, Nightwing and Green Lantern—apparently inspired him to take up a life of crimefighting. “People don’t take care of people,” he says, as we walk past a crowded bus stop on the Ave.

Jones’ get-up looks quite a bit like Batman’s costume and, just like the Dark Knight, he’s a trained, title-winning amateur martial artist, and carries a utility belt stocked with a hefty-looking cattle prod-like stun gun and pepper spray, but never a gun.
According to this article, Phoenix Jones has successfully intervened in at least 30 different Seattle-based crimes, including breaking up knife-fights, chasing down purse snatchers, and breaking up bar fights.  Eleven months later, Jones has been arrested after Seattle Police alleged that he unlawfully pepper sprayed a small group of people leaving a night club.  The clubbers claim that they were "dancing and having a good time" when Jones snuck up and pepper sprayed them for no reason.  Jones claims that he broke up a fight.  Jones himself was arrested and released from custody seven hours later.

Jones' spokesman (yes, he has his own spokesman) claims that photographic evidence will clear up Phoenix Jones' tarnished reputation:
(Peter) Tangen says Jones had heard about a large fight where “somebody had just been body-slammed onto the concrete” and was rushing to help. Jones apparently deployed his pepper spray to break up the fight.

Tangen—who claims police “seemed to have disregarded” a hit and run at the same scene, and failed to interview a cameraman and journalist who were with Jones, and had witnessed the fight—could not immediately provide PubliCola with a copy of the video. “It’ll be interesting what [police] have to say when the video comes out,” Tangen said. “I’m very sure it’s going to show a different story than what police are saying.”
A subsequent interview with Jones communicates his belief that his arresting officer has a "vendetta" against him, but that he remains committed to his goal of crime-fighting (though he and his family have gone into hiding following numerous online threats -- further proof that super heroes should always maintain their secret identities).

I'm really curious how this story will unfolding.  More importantly, when will the Iowa City/Cedar Rapids Corridor area witness the genesis of our own league of real life super heroes?  I will keep you all updated as I learn more.

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