Posted Oct 14, 2011 08:35 pm CDT
Updated: A self-proclaimed crime-fighting superhero who calls himself Phoenix Jones was unmasked in court Thursday as a married 23-year-old Seattle-area man whose real name is Benjamin John Francis Fodor.
Fodor appeared in court for a hearing following his arrest early Sunday on assault charges for allegedly pepper-spraying a group of partygoers outside of a bar in downtown Seattle.
During the hearing, Fodor removed his mask at the request of a court officer, the Associated Press reports. He continued to wear his trademark black-and-gold rubber crime-fighting costume beneath a button-down shirt.
After the hearing, Fodor told reporters he’s a father and a brother, “just like everyone else,” except for the fact that he “decided to make a difference and stop crime in my neighborhood and my area.”
Prosecutors said they haven’t yet decided whether to file formal charges against him.
Fodor, the leader of a group of self-described “superheroes” who call themselves the Rain City Superheroes Movement, has been fighting crime on the streets of Seattle since at least February. He’s part of a larger movement in which fantastically costumed citizens patrol the streets in dozens of cities, fighting crime or doing ad hoc social work.
Fodor claims he was trying to break up a fight when he was arrested; the club-goers insist they hadn’t been fighting.
Last updated at 5:11 p.m. to add video and links to articles with photos of Phoenix Jones.