Real-Life Superhero Gets Nose Broken
Originally posted: http://abcnews.go.com/US/real-life-seattle-superhero-phoenix-jones-suffers-broken/story?id=12589895
Phoenix Jones, Caped Crusader Patrolling Seattle, Attacked at Gunpoint
By JESSICA HOPPER and NEAL KARLINSKY
Jan. 11, 2010
Phoenix Jones, the real-life superhero who has gotten fame for patrolling the streets of Seattle, found his kryptonite in the guise of two attackers who left him with a broken nose over the weekend.
Armed with a skintight black-and-gold, belted costume, a cape and a fedora, Phoenix Jones suits up at night to fight crime on the streets of Seattle. He’s the leader of a real-life superhero movement called the Rain City Superheroes.
On Saturday, things turned violent when a man held Jones at gunpoint and another broke his nose.
“They were all swearing at each other and like about to fight,” Jones told ABC affiliate KOMO.
Jones stepped in to try and stop the men. The caped crusader claimed that he called 911 and had one of the men in a headlock when another man pulled out a gun.
“He starts swinging on me and starts an altercation with me,” Jones told KOMO.
The incident over the weekend is exactly what worries police about everyday citizens who take justice into their own hands.
“Our concern is if it goes badly, then we end up getting called anyway, and we may have additional victims,” Detective Mark Jamieson told ABC News last week.
Seattle police said that it is not illegal to dress up as a superhero, but they worry about excess calls to 911 when residents confuse Jones and the other real-life superheroes with the criminals they’re trying to capture.
Jones said that he calls police ahead of time to tell them where he’ll be patrolling. He said he developed his costume, along with his alter ego’s name, when his crime-fighting ways made him too recognizable.
“When I started breaking apart fights, I had no outfit or moniker or symbol, and people started recognizing me in my everyday life. It got kind of dangerous and very uncomfortable,” he said. “This suit is what people recognize, and when I take the suit off, I’m able to live as close to a normal life as possible until I put it back on and am ready to defend the people of Seattle.”
While Jones might not have Batman’s Alfred Pennyworth to help him build cool new gadgets, he has adapted his car and costume to protect him.
He wears a bulletproof vest and carries not just a Taser but a net gun and a grappling hook.
His car has a computer in it that prints any e-mails sent to his superhero e-mail address.
On the night ABC News went on patrol with Jones, the caped crusader zapped a warning shot with his Taser during a very tense run in with a man he said was about to drive drunk.
“Just back up! Stay back, stay away. I don’t want to have to Tase you,” Jones yelled.
Jones’ sidekicks, Red Dragon and Buster Joe, called the police.
Jones’ quest to help his fellow residents is a weirdly close imitation of the movie “Kick Ass,” whose characters dress up as superheroes and take on crime fighting.
Jones said he has a real nine-to-five job, a wife and two kids.
He told ABC affiliate KOMO that an incident with his son inspired him to put on his cape.
One night someone broke into Jones’ car, and the broken glass injured his son and resulted in a trip to the emergency room. When people told Jones that several people witnessed the break-in but did nothing, he was dumbfounded.
“Teenagers are running down the street, breaking into cars, and no one does anything? Where’s the personal accountability?” Jones told KOMO.
Jones emphasizes that his real mission is to help people — he also hands out food to the homeless. On the night ABC News followed the men, they distributed food from Taco Bell to homeless people sitting on the sidewalks.
While police might be skeptical, Jones and his gang of wannabe heroes don’t plan to give up.
“I have two kids,” he said. “I always tell them the same thing every time before I go on patrol: ‘This is the only thing daddy could think of to make the world better for you guys, and I’ll see you when I get home.'”
ABC Affiliate KOMO contributed to this story.