Earlier this week, it was reported that Phoenix Jones was arrested on allegations of assault. Yesterday morning, Jones appeared in court and faced the judge as himself—Benjamin John Francis Fodor.
According to ‘The Seattle Times’ website, after learning that no charges would be filed at this time, Fodor tore off his dress shirt, revealing his superhero costume underneath. Fodor exited the King County Jail courtroom wearing his mask. He removed his mask and told reporters, “In addition to being Phoenix Jones, I am also Ben Fodor, father and brother. I am just like everybody else. The only difference is that I try to stop crime in my neighborhood and everywhere else.”
Many have been writing about Phoenix Jones/Ben Fodor this week, and a couple of things need to be clarified. After being arrested, Fodor was taken to jail and not “hauled into prison” as PopWatch claims. Prison is for convicted criminals with sentences longer than one year and one day. Jail is for people with short sentences and where those who are arrested are detained. Fodor spent approximately seven hours in jail before posting bail. Also, the time Fodor has been Phoenix Jones is different from story to story. When the story about Jones stopping a car theft was reported in January, Jones said that he had been on patrol at least nine months before the event. The prevented car theft seems to be the first public success story about Phoenix, but there are reports of him patrolling the streets of Seattle back in November 2010, so Phoenix Jones has been around since last year, possibly as early as April 2010.
Ben Fodor has vowed to continue to patrol the streets of Seattle as Phoenix Jones with his fellow superheroes in the Rain City Superhero Crime Fighting Movement, which also includes Fodor’s wife, Purple Reign. Many might wonder why people like Ben Fodor don’t become cops. I do not believe Fodor and the others want to break the law. They seem to genuinely want to help people. By being volunteer crime fighters, Phoenix Jones and the others have the freedom to patrol parts of the city where a police presence is scarce and where more crime happens than police can control.
Many in Seattle are grateful for the work of the superheroes. Sometimes the police don’t arrive in time, and a lot of people feel good knowing there are heroes out there willing to help not because it’s their job, but because they want to make a change and are willing to help their neighbors believing it’s the right thing to do. As long as they follow The Batman Code—no guns, only stopping a crime that is in progress—then I see them as a positive force for Seattle.
To Phoenix Jones and the Rain City Superhero Crime Fighting Movement: Stay safe and be careful out there.