'Superhero' Phoenix Jones Arrested for Assault
Self-proclaimed superhero Phoenix Jones was arrested for assault in Seattle on Sunday.
As the costumed leader of the Rain City Superhero Movement, he has resolved to fight Seattle crime one incident at a time. Unfortunately, it appears as though this particular incident was actually an early-morning dance party--not a violent fight.
Jones' mistake caused him to pepper-spray the unsuspecting victims, leading to charges of fourth-degree assault.
Responding officers spoke to the victims, who explained that they had just left a nearby club, reports the Seattle Times. They were playing in the street when a masked Phoenix Jones approached them and yelled, "Break it up!"
Video shot by a friend of the Rain City Superhero Movement shows a group of people in the distance. However, the Times reports that it is impossible to tell what they are doing. Jones believed they were fighting, and asked his friend to call 911.
Even though he was arrested, Phoenix Jones still has a slight chance of beating the pepper spray charges. He could argue that he was acting in the defense of others.
This defense requires a showing that he reasonably perceived some of the victims to be in harm's way. He would also need to show that he used a reasonable, or proportional, amount of force.
Such a defense will be difficult to prove for one particular reason:
Though he has never before been arrested, Phoenix Jones has demonstrated a tendency to overreact.
In recent weeks, there have been a number reports of Jones using pepper spray, according to the Times. Moreover, he is the subject of a restraining order, having been accused of harassment.
Phoenix Jones (real name Benjamin John Francis Fodor) would be well advised to hire a non-superhero criminal defense attorney.
- Seattle Superhero Phoenix Jones Arrested, Accused Of Assault (NPR)
- Costumed 'Superheroes' Fight Seattle Crime at Night (FindLaw's Legal Grounds)
- Real Life Superhero: Is Phoenix Jones Seattle's Batman? (FindLaw's Legal Grounds)