Posted Jan 05, 2011 06:27 pm CST
When a man who wishes to be known only as “Dan” returned to his parked car in a Seattle suburb one recent night, he caught a would-be thief in the act of trying to break in.
But as Dan was dialing 911 for help, a masked man in a skintight black rubber costume with gold accents seemingly ran up to the vehicle out of nowhere and chased the thief off, reports KPTV of Portland, Ore.
When Dan informed friends about his experience with the apparent superhero, they accused him of having had too much to drink. However, in fact, the man known to the public only as Phoenix Jones is a member of a group of martial arts experts who voluntarily patrol to try to keep the Seattle area safe.
At least nine individuals are participating in the Rain City Superhero Movement, confirms a Seattle Police Department spokesman, in a story that has caught the attention of the United Kingdom’s Daily Mail, among other farflung news organizations.
Other participants include Buster Doe, Catastrophe, Gemini, Green Reaper, No Name, Penelope, Thorn and Thunder 88.
Linked to the article is a video news report by local station KIRO, which followed Jones as he walks into a local comic book store in street attire, pulls a tall shelf aside to reveal a secret room, strolls in, shuts the door and emerges soon after suited up as Phoenix Jones.
“I symbolize that the average person doesn’t have to walk around and see bad things and do nothing,” Jones tells KIRO, in a video that has been posted on YouTube and is linked to the Daily News report.
In addition to its bulletproof panels and a tool belt that includes a Taser and tear gas, the uniform also serves as a convenient advertisement that crime doesn’t pay, he says. ‘“When I walk into a neighborhood, criminals leave because they see the suit.”