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Wannabe superhero won't face charges

By Patrick Oppmann, CNN
updated 10:57 AM EST, Thu November 24, 2011
Ben Fodor, aka Phoenix Jones, pepper sprayed a group of people outside a nightclub in October.
Ben Fodor, aka Phoenix Jones, pepper sprayed a group of people outside a nightclub in October.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Self-styled superhero Phoenix Jones will not be charged, Seattle prosecutors say
  • He pepper sprayed a group of people outside a nightclub in October
  • He routinely patrols the streets of Seattle on the lookout for wrongdoers
  • Authorities say the city does not require the services of a vigilante crime fighter

Seattle (CNN) -- Self-styled superhero Phoenix Jones will not be charged in an October incident in which he pepper sprayed a group of people outside a nightclub, the Seattle City Attorney's Office said Wednesday.

Jones, whose real name is Ben Fodor, said he tussled with nightclub patrons while wearing a skintight costume in order to break up a fight. But Fodor was the only person arrested following the melee, which a documentary crew following Fodor captured on camera.

Seattle police said Fodor, who routinely patrols the streets of Seattle on the lookout for wrongdoers, overreacted and the city does not require the services of a vigilante crime fighter. Police arrested Fodor on four counts of assault.

"Mr. Fodor is no hero, just a deeply misguided individual," City Attorney Pete Holmes said in a news release Wednesday, "He has been warned that his actions put himself in danger, and this latest episode demonstrates that innocent bystanders can also be harmed."

Seattle superhero arrested for assault
Seattle superhero unmasked

On the Facebook page dedicated to his alter ego, Fodor hit back at Holmes, writing, "I think my arrest and de-masking was more more of an attempt to get me to stop patrolling than to actively seek justice. I want everyone to know I have no intention of stopping."

Video shot by the documentary crew and posted on the page showed a chaotic scene, with the self-styled superhero being chased by a purse-wielding woman and then shooting a large can of pepper spray at a group of people.

Holmes said prosecutors declined to press charges against Fodor because they were unable to track down several witnesses to the incident.

Fodor and representatives did not immediately respond Wednesday to calls seeking comment on the decision not to charge him. Fodor previously said that even though he dons a brightly colored rubber suit to take on criminals, he is seeking a safer city, not headlines.

"I am just like everybody else. The only difference is that I try to stop crime," Fodor said following an October court hearing at which prosecutors had said they were still considering whether to charge him.

An Internet search showed Fodor has competed in mixed martial arts events, with a record of 11 wins and no losses.

Following his arrest, Jones was fired from his job working with developmentally disabled people.

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