Seattle's masked crime-fighter Phoenix Jones has lost his day job.
The superhero -- real name Ben Fodor -- was informed by the state Department of Social and Health Services in Washington that he could no longer work with vulnerable children because of his Oct. 9 arrest in an assault investigation. He says he was breaking up a late-night fight and used pepper spray in self-defense.
The 23-year-old was arrested and spent about seven hours in jail before posting $3,800 bail in the incident. But charges were never filed against Fodor and the case is still sitting before the city attorney. An assault conviction would ban him permanently from working with people classified as vulnerable.
"I feel like it's an unjust characterization of me. In five years, I haven't had one complaint from any of the people I've worked with," he told KING 5 News. "I teach basic life skills to autistic children. ... Stuff like balancing a checkbook, if you want to go shopping at the mall, how to figure out how much money to spend, how to balance money for the entire month, how to survive with your autism that you have."
Fodor, who is known for trying to fight late-night crime wearing a mask and protective suit, told the station that he got a letter from the state last week, saying he could no longer work with the children.
"It basically just said that effectively immediately, I was no longer able to work with disabled or autistic children," he said. "The reason is because I was put on a list of people who interject themselves into dangerous situations, and some government agency put me on that list."
Thomas Shapley, a spokesman for the state's Department of Social and Health Services, confirmed the letter to FoxNews.com but said Fodor was never considered an employee with the department.
"He is a contracted individual service provider," Shapley said. "There's a whole different process for disciplining an employee."
Shapley said that when Fodor's contract was up for renewal, on Oct. 14, the department decided not to continue it because of an "unresolved police matter."
Shapley said the department ran a background check on Fodor at the time of renewal -- as is usual procedure -- and "this arrest for assault came up."
"Quite frankly, before we place vulnerable children and adults in his direct care, we want to see this thing resolved," Shapley told FoxNews.com. "If it is resolved in his favor, he's more than welcome to reapply for the contract."
FoxNews.com's Cristina Corbin and the Associated Press contributed to this report.