Oct 14th 2011 By: Caleb Goellner
Seattle's resident costumed crime fighter Phoenix Jones
, arguably the posterboy for the "real life superhero" movement
, revealed his secret identity to the world yesterday. The unmasking came as something of a response to his arrest earlier this week
for allegedly assaulting several people with pepper spray in what he's characterized as an attempt to break up a fight on social media and with the posting of a video of the encounter. After learning that charges had not yet been filed against him in court Thursday, the vigilante left the courthouse and announced his true identity -- Ben Fodor, a 23-year-old with a family and kids.
"In addition to being Phoenix Jones, I am also Ben Fodor, a father and brother," he said, removing his hood. "I am just like everybody else. The only difference is that I try to stop crime."
Fodor also said he would invite the public to accompany him on future patrols and then walked off without taking any questions from reporters.
According to Seattle's KIRO TV
, Benjamin John Francis Fodor may not completely be off the hook. Prosecutors reportedly only asked a judge for more time to decide whether they'd file charges rather than outright drop them.
Seattle police advocated leaving law enforcement to professionals and calling 911 if a situation permits rather than getting directly involved, although they were seemingly careful not to discourage cosplay. Police spokesperson Mark Jamieson broke things down thusly, "If people want to dress up and walk around, knock yourself out," he said. "Our concern is when you insert yourself into these situations without knowing the facts, it's just not a smart thing to do. If you think a situation warrants calling 911, call 911."