Phoenix Jones arrested in Seattle

Seattle’s masked superhero crime fighter ‘Phoenix Jones’ is now fighting an assault charge for allegedly spraying pepper spray on people who he claims were fighting. Seattle police claim the people were dancing.
Phoenix Jones (who has been unmasked by police as Benjamin Francis) was arrested about 2:30 a.m. Sunday while still wearing his black and gold superhero costume, a bullet-proof vest and carrying two cans of pepper spray. Jones is a member of Rain City Superhero Movement, a group of self-proclaimed superheroes who say they patrol the streets to fight crime.
He was charged with assaulting two people who police said were “dancing and having a good time” as they walked to their car.
“In this particular case, he perceived that this group was fighting and when we contacted them, they said they weren’t fighting” – said Det. Mark Jamieson, a Seattle Police Department public information officer. “Unfortunately, he used force. He committed a crime, an assault against these individuals. That’s against the law.”
The police report by Officer Hosea Crumpton said cited a woman who was sprayed saying the four victims “began dancing and frolicking with each other. Suddenly she observed a person … running full sprint towards her group.”
The person sprayed all four victims with pepper spray, the report stated.
Francis, who was being filmed by a journalist at the time, told police he “ran into the crowd to break up the fight.”
“He saw two white males fighting, but could not explain why four people, including women, had been sprayed” – the police report said.
In a video taken by a journalist who was with Jones when he was arrested and posted on Jones’ Facebook page shows Jones rushing towards commotion and a crowd in a road beneath an underpass in downtown Seattle. It is unclear from the video whether the group is fighting or just messing around, as police said.
The police report said that Francis “has had a history of injecting himself in these incidents. Recently there has been increased reports of citizens being pepper sprayed by [Francis] and his group.”

Phoenix Jones arrested in Seattle
Phoenix Jones.

This never happens to Batman.
The self-proclaimed crime-fighter who calls himself ‘Phoenix Jones’ was arrested by Seattle police early Sunday morning after pepper-spraying a group of unruly men and women he says were engaged in a brawl.
“There was a person on the ground who was getting stomped” – the costumed superhero told The News by phone Monday night on his way to a radio interview. “It was one guy versus what looked like eight people. I honestly thought the guy’s life was in danger.”
Jones – The News agreed not to reveal his real name – says the unidentified victim was able to escape after he distracted the attackers.
Members of the group, however told police that they were merely “dancing and having a good time,” when they were attacked by the masked man in black and yellow body armor.
Several people claimed to have been sprayed, according to the police report obtained by ABC News.
“In this particular case, he perceived that this group was fighting and when we contacted them, they said they weren’t fighting” – Detective Mark Jamieson, a spokesman for the Seattle Police Department, told ABC News. “Unfortunately, he used force. He committed a crime, an assault against these individuals. That’s against the law.”
On a video posted on Facebook by a filmmaker accompanying Jones on his patrol that night, though, it appears that the group was engaged in some kind of altercation before the costumed vigilante charged in, screaming “Call 911.”
The 13-minute footage also shows a woman and several men roughing up Jones and his two companions, Ryan McNamee and a freelance journalist, but it also shows the vigilante clearly spraying pepper spray in the face of one man as he’s charged.
“There was a guy laying on the ground with people kicking him” – McNamee, who took the footage, said. “This was no dance party.”
McNamee says the arresting officers never took a statement or looked at the video.

While self-proclaimed crime fighter Phoenix Jones contends he was breaking up a fight, Seattle police arrested the leader of the Rain City Superhero Movement early Sunday after he allegedly doused a group of people with pepper spray.
The costumed Jones (23) was arrested on suspicion of fourth-degree assault just before 3 a.m., accused of using pepper spray on four people who were treated by medics, according to a Seattle police report.
Jones — whose real name is Benjamin John Francis Fodor — spent a little over seven hours in the King County Jail before posting $3,800 bail Sunday afternoon, according to jail records and Kimberly Mills, a spokeswoman for Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes.
His next court appearance is scheduled for Thursday.
Jones is the leader of the Rain City Superhero Movement, according to one of his Facebook pages, which boasts more than 10.000 “likes.” He claims he is a symbol “that the average person doesn’t have to walk around and see bad things and do nothing.”
A phone call to Jones’ apartment Monday went unanswered. However, a volunteer spokesman for Jones, Los Angeles-based photographer Peter Tangen, said Jones saw two men getting “viciously beaten” by a group of people and broke up the fight. Tangen (who has photographed a number of people, including Jones, involved in “costumed activism”) criticized police for failing to fully investigate the incident.
Tangen said one officer involved in Sunday’s arrest viewed less than a minute of the 14-minute video of the incident.
But Seattle police spokesman Mark Jamieson said the responding officers determined “there was no fight.”
The raw video of Jones’ clash with a group of people on Columbia Street near Alaskan Way was posted on his Facebook page.
Jones, wearing a black and gold costume (with a mask and fake, six-pack abs) can be seen charging toward the group under the Alaskan Way Viaduct.

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