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Crime & Courts

Self-Proclaimed Superhero Accused of Seattle Pepper Spray Attack


In this photo taken Feb. 26, 2011, Self-described superhero Phoenix Jones meets protestors at Westlake Park in Seattle. (AP)

A self-proclaimed superhero could be charged by police over an alleged pepper spray attack on revelers making their way home from a Seattle nightclub.

Phoenix Jones -- known for his black and yellow bulletproof and stabproof outfit -- was arrested and spent the night behind bars after the incident.

A supporter of his vigilante actions recorded the clash on video, with footage released to news website Publicola on Monday showing one of the females involved chasing Jones and hitting him with her handbag and shoes.

Jones says he was breaking up a fight when he sprayed four people with pepper spray, but footage appears not to show any confrontation between his victims, who told police they were singing and dancing as they walked home under an overpass when Jones attacked.

Jones is one of a number of homemade superheroes to have sprung up in the U.S. following the release of the 2010 movie "Kick Ass," about a suburban teenager who turns to crime fighting in a green and yellow wetsuit.

In January, Jones said, "When I walk into a neighborhood, criminals leave because they see the suit. I symbolize that the average person doesn't have to walk around and see bad things and do nothing."

But a week later, after Jones had his nose broken after injecting himself into a fight, Seattle police detective Mark Jamieson warned him and other self-styled superheroes, "Don't insert yourself into those situations. If you see something, call 911."

On Monday, as Jones, 23, waited to hear whether charges would be laid for the pepper spray incident, he claimed the officer who arrested him had a vendetta against him and said he and his family had gone into hiding.

Jones -- whose real name is Benjamin John Francis Fodor -- was arrested on suspicion of fourth-degree assault and posted bail Sunday afternoon. He is scheduled to appear in court Thursday, The Seattle Times reported.

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