After his recent arrest for pepper spraying some some people who claim that they were only dancing in the street, Seattle’s self-proclaimed superhero Phoenix Jones is back on patrol. It turns out that police are holding one of his superhero suits as evidence while he’s awaiting trial, so Phoenix Jones is using a “backup” suit, as he calls it.
Phoenix Jones has become something of an oddity up in Seattle, leading a sort of citizen’s anti-crime patrol which is interesting for someone who has at least 22, mostly minor incidents with the law, mostly traffic violations, himself. His superhero suits have bulletproof and anti-stab wound protections built-in. He claims that by wearing the superhero suit, he’s not mistaken for a law breaker himself, although that sure didn’t help him with his arrest in the pepper spray incident.
Despite his protective suit, Phoenix Jones did suffer a knife wound to one leg in one incident, but the bulletproof vest did help to deflect a bullet in another incident, possibly saving his life. But, while he’s not a deputy police officer, he has no legal grounds to get involved in incidents and faces some of the same legal perils that have spooked other vigilante-type groups such as The Guardian Angels. But, unlike The Guardian Angels, who have something of a street punk organization persona, Phoenix Jones(real name, Benjamin Fodor) wants to be seen as good citizen who’s making a difference.
However, it’s that crazy superhero costume that makes Phoenix Jones seem too much like some kook who’s read one too many comic books. There’s a few guys running around in homemade batmobiles for example, which seems like a comic book nerd’s wet nerd. Jones has to put in a little effort to convince folks that he’s not crazy.
Phoenix Jones did prevent a city bus from being hijacked, and did help out in few other incidents. He’s become of Seattle’s defining oddities, where tourists no doubt love to have their picture taken with him. Many cities have their odd personalities who become something of a celebrity. Los Angeles used to have Wild Man Fischer, a severely mentally ill man who would sing outrageous songs that he made up on the streets. Both Frank Zappa and Dr. Demento became huge fans, and Fischer even recorded some records of his outrageous songs such as “My Name Is Larry”. NY has The Naked Cowboy.
Phoenix Jones probably isn’t crazy. But, it’s certainly an eccentric routine he does. Not many cities have real life superheroes. Seattle is one of few cities to have one.