Jones without his mask in 2013, distributing flyers describing a wanted criminal
|Born||Benjamin John Francis Fodor
May 25, 1988
|Occupation||Costumed vigilante (Phoenix Jones disputes this label), mixed martial artist|
|Known for||Confronting alleged lawbreakers while dressed in a superhero costume.|
Phoenix Jones (born Benjamin John Francis Fodor, 1988 in Texas) is an American real-life superhero. Initially wearing a ski mask to intervene in a public assault, Fodor later developed a full costume and adopted "Phoenix Jones" as a pseudonym. From 2011 until its dissolution in 2014, Jones was the leader of the Rain City Superhero Movement, a Seattle, Washington based citizen patrol group that described itself as a crime prevention brigade.
Jones says the best way to prevent getting mistaken for a criminal by the police is to wear a "supersuit", although local police have expressed concern that the strange costumes may lead to emergency calls from citizens who mistake the "superheroes" for criminals. Jones says that all members of the Rain City Superhero Movement have a military or mixed martial arts background.
Jones is also a mixed martial artist signed to World Series of Fighting, where he has fought at two catchweights, which included fighting his older foster brother UFC, Strikeforce and ONE Championship fighter Caros Fodor.
Adoption of persona
Jones says he wanted to take policing matters into his own hands after a few incidents changed his mind about Seattle. The first was when Jones says that his car was broken into and his son was injured after returning to the vehicle and falling on the broken glass. Jones was told that several people saw the break-in happen, but did not intervene. Later, Jones says that he encountered a friend being seriously assaulted outside a bar, and after calling 911 he put on the mask from the earlier break-in and "made a commotion" until the police showed up. "And I thought, why didn’t someone help him? There were seventy people outside that bar and no one did anything."
Jones went on to develop a full costume and pseudonym, when his crime-fighting behavior made him too recognizable. In a CBS news broadcast, Jones is shown entering a back room of an unnamed comic book store in which he changes into costume which consists of a Dragon Skin brand bulletproof vest and stab plating, as well as equipment including a stun baton, pepper spray or tear gas, handcuffs and a first aid kit.
Jones later became part of the Rain City Superhero Movement. In July 2011, local police recorded ten citizens patrolling the city in superhero costumes, using the names Thorn, Buster Doe, Green Reaper, The Mantis, Gemini, No Name, Catastrophe, Thunder 88, Penelope and Phoenix Jones. An individual using the pseudonym "Red Dragon" has also self-identified as being a member of the group.
- On Sunday, January 2, 2011, in Lynnwood, Phoenix Jones stopped and chased away a car thief as the car owner (who asked to be identified only as "Dan") stood by in shock as Jones ran into action. CBS News introduced Dan and Phoenix Jones to one another the following Monday evening. Dan proceeded to thank Jones numerous times while later talking about Phoenix's gear.
- A few days later, ABC News aired a news story covering Jones. In this report, footage shows Phoenix Jones preventing an intoxicated man from entering his car. Jones threatens to use a stun baton as the angry and inebriated man approaches Jones with the intent to fight. In the video, a police officer is shown later talking to Phoenix Jones and his group regarding the effect masks may have on an intoxicated individual.
- On Saturday, September 24, 2011, in the Belltown neighborhood of Seattle, Phoenix Jones doused a man with pepper spray after he attempted to steal a bus. The driver of the bus had been handing out fliers when another individual attempted to steal the bus. Jones was reported to have intervened and the hijacker escaped with his skin dyed orange due to the spray. Jones says he didn’t receive any help from Seattle police, who took hours to respond to the incident.
- On Sunday, October 9, 2011, in Seattle, Jones was arrested for his role in an altercation involving pepper spray. Close associates, who were present and equipped with a video camera, told reporters that Phoenix Jones broke up an unfair fight between two groups of nightclub patrons. According to police reports, the officers who responded determined that "there was no fight", with one member of the group denying that anyone among them had been fighting. They asked that the masked man be "arrested for attacking them." According to one woman who was involved in the altercation, after an argument had broken out between her group and another, Jones suddenly approached and pepper sprayed them, saying "I'm a superhero". The next day, videographer Ryan McNamee uploaded a video online showing Jones responding to what McNamee described as a "huge fight". McNamee's video shows the woman hitting Phoenix Jones and another person with her shoe. Jones was released on bail hours later with no charges having been filed.
- In another incident several hours earlier, Phoenix Jones had come to the defense of a potential fight victim. Police arrived after the aggressors had fled. In their report, the police called it a case of "questionable use of pepper spray", but the victim later told the Seattle Times that Jones was indeed a hero who had saved him from "a potential beat-down".
- On Sunday, November 27, 2011, near the Belltown neighborhood of Seattle, Phoenix Jones and crew followed a man accused of stabbing another man. They prevented the attacker from fleeing until the Seattle police arrived.
- On Friday, January 6, 2012, Phoenix Jones and crew stopped a fight at the same location of the New Year’s Eve shooting in Belltown.
- On Tuesday, May 1, 2012, a blogger reported that Phoenix Jones had pepper sprayed black bloc protesters in downtown Seattle, although Jones denied this on Twitter. In an interview on the Bob Rivers Show on May 2, Phoenix Jones asserted that, while undercover with the protesters, several of them revealed to him a plot to bomb the city courthouse. According to Phoenix Jones, after telling the police and receiving no support, he and another member of the Rain City Superhero Movement intercepted the protesters at the courthouse and acted in self-defense as the protesters began throwing rocks and bottles through the windows and glass doors of the court house. Fellow costumed activists El Caballero and Midnightjack accompanied Phoenix Jones.
- In November 2012, Jones hit the headlines for engaging in mutual combat.
- On Friday, March 27, 2015 in New Haven, Connecticut, just before Phoenix Jones was to be the featured speaker at The Institute Library's Amateur Hour speaking series, he prevented a man from being stabbed by holding off a group of men until police arrived. Deputized to hold the superhero's backpack was Amateur Hour host and This American Life contributor Jack Hitt, to whom Phoenix Jones later jokingly gave the superhero moniker "Blue Corduroy".
- On Sunday, September 20, 2015 in Seattle, Washington, Jones spotted three men pistol-whipping another man, and after alerting police, charged the man holding the gun and knocked it out of his hand. The three were arrested for assault, with one being charged with possession of a firearm by a felon.
- On Tuesday, March 22, 2016 in Seattle, Washington, Jones attempted to assist authorities in talking the "man in tree" down from the 80-foot sequoia he had climbed, but police rejected the offer.
When asked if he would have someone arrested for smoking cannabis, Jones said he considered it a low priority, and that he has no problem with people using drugs, but wants drug dealers to "sell somewhere else."
Jones reports being stabbed with a knife while trying to intervene with a drug dealer and a citizen, damaging part of his costume which had to be repaired. He has told police that his ballistic vest helped stop a bullet during an incident in Tacoma.
In 2011, Jones claims to have had his nose broken by an assailant while attempting to break up a fight, when one of the men pulled a gun on him while another one kicked him, breaking his nose. This incident was never reported to police, and was treated by Jones' private doctor.
In October 2011, Jones was arrested for investigation of assault, after using pepper spray to break up an alleged fight. He spent approximately seven hours in jail before posting the $3,800 bail. No charges were filed and the case was dropped later that month.
Jones appeared in court wearing a black and gray striped shirt over his costume on October 13, 2011. A court officer asked Jones to remove his mask, and he complied, putting the mask back on after the hearing. Jones then spoke with reporters and removed his mask again to reveal his identity as Ben Fodor. Fodor stated that he would continue patrolling the city:
I will continue to patrol with my team, probably tonight [October 13, 2011]. In addition to being Phoenix Jones, I am also Ben Fodor, father and brother. I am just like everybody else. The only difference is that I try to stop crime in my neighborhood and everywhere else. I think I have to look toward the future and see what I can do to help the city.
Mixed martial arts
Jones at an MMA event, fighting as "Fear the Flattop"
|Born||May 25, 1988|
|Other names||Flattop, Vigilante|
|Height||6 ft 0 in (183 cm)|
|Weight||170 lb (77 kg; 12 st 2 lb)|
|Fighting out of||Seattle, Washington, United States|
|Years active||2006–present (MMA)|
|Mixed martial arts record|
|Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog|
Ben Fodor began his amateur MMA career in December 2006. Over the next four years, he amassed a record of 15 wins and 2 losses as an amateur.
Fodor made his professional MMA debut in November 2013 for the Cage Warrior Combat promotion based in his native Washington state. Fodor is the younger foster brother of Strikeforce and UFC veteran Caros Fodor.
On March 11, 2015, it was announced that Fodor had signed an exclusive contract with World Series of Fighting. Fodor made his debut at WSOF 20 on April 10, 2015, wanting to be known under his pseudonym "Phoenix Jones". He faced Emmanuel Walo and lost the fight via unanimous decision, his first loss in his professional career, leaving with a record of 5 wins, 1 draw, and 1 loss. On September 18, 2015, he rebounded with a rare headscissors submission win over Roberto Yong at World Series of Fighting 23: Gaethje vs. Palomino II.
Mixed martial arts record
|Professional record breakdown|
|9 matches||6 wins||2 losses|
|Loss||6–2–1||Caros Fodor||Decision (unanimous)||WSOF 32||July 30, 2016||3||5:00||Everett, Washington, United States|
|Win||6–1–1||Roberto Yong||Submission (scissor choke)||WSOF 23||September 18, 2015||1||3:09||Phoenix, Arizona, United States||Catchweight bout (160lbs)|
|Loss||5–1–1||Emmanuel Walo||Decision (unanimous)||WSOF 20||April 10, 2015||3||5:00||Mashantucket, Connecticut, United States||Catchweight bout (175lbs)|
|Win||5–0–1||Jason Novelli||Technical Submission (rear-naked choke)||Super Fight League 37||February 21, 2015||3||3:06||Tacoma, Washington, United States|
|Draw||4–0–1||Tyson Cunningham||Draw (majority)||Super Fight League 36||December 13, 2014||5||5:00||Tacoma, Washington, United States|
|Win||4–0||Justin Larsson||Decision (split)||Combat Games MMA: Battle at the Bay 8||July 26, 2014||3||5:00||Anacortes, Washington, United States|
|Win||3–0||Justin Larsson||Submission (guillotine choke)||Combat Games MMA: Battle at the Bay 7||April 19, 2014||3||0:28||Anacortes, Washington, United States|
|Win||2–0||Nick Coughran||TKO (punches)||Combat Games MMA: Super Brawl 1||April 6, 2014||2||4:45||Snoqualmie, Washington, United States|
|Win||1–0||Zach Conn||Decision (unanimous)||Cage Warrior Combat 9||November 2, 2013||3||5:00||Kent, Washington, United States|
- Nicole Neroulias, "Seattle's superhero vigilante has his day in court", Reuters, 13 October 2011
- My Public Statement About Not Being Charged With A Crime | Facebook
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- "Rain City Superhero Movement". RealLifeSuperheroes.org.
- "Transcript for Good Morning America, January 7, 2011". Livedash.com. Retrieved 2011-10-11.
- Jessica Hopper; Neal Karlinsky (Jan 11, 2010). "Real-Life Superhero Gets Nose Broken". ABC News. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
- Casey McNerthney (2011-06-01). "Police alerted to 'superheroes' patrolling Seattle". Seattle PI.
- DC's Guardian And Phoenix Jones: Real Life Superheroes Open Up — A Bit : The Two-Way : NPR
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- CBS (2011-01-04). "Real-Life Superhero Stops Car Robbery". YouTube. Retrieved 2011-10-11.
- "Tea with Gill: An Interview With Seattle Crimefighter Red Dragon". The Back Row. 2011-01-24.
- "Phoenix Jones: Real Life Superhero Stops Wash. Car Theft". CBS News. January 5, 2011.
- "Real Life Superheroes Fight Crime". ABC News. January 7, 2011.
- Jonah Spangenthal-Lee (2011-09-26). "Phoenix Jones Pepper Sprays Suspect In Party Bus-Jacking". PubliCola. Retrieved 2011-10-11.
- Patrick Oppmann (2011-10-11). "Seattle's self-styled superhero arrested". CNN.
- "'Superhero' arrested, accused of assault". MSNBC. 2011-10-10. Retrieved 2011-10-11.
- "Woman who hit Phoenix Jones: 'Nothing gives him a right to do that'". seattlepi.com. 2011-10-12. Retrieved 2011-10-14.
- Ryan McNamee (2011-10-10). "Phoenix Jones Stops Assault". Retrieved 2011-10-16.
- Phoenix Jones Attacked By Stiletto – The Full Assault Video | Bleeding Cool Comic Book, Movies and TV News and Rumors
- Jonathan Martin (2011-10-13). "Despite arrest, Seattle superhero vows to fight on". Seattle Times. Retrieved 2011-10-16.
- Chris Daniels (2011-11-28). "Phoenix Jones to the rescue ... again". King Broadcasting Company. Retrieved 2012-01-06.
- David Nelson (2012-01-06). "Phoenix Jones and crew stop a fight at same location of the New Year's Eve shooting in Belltown". Inside Belltown. Retrieved 2012-01-10.
- Adrian Chen (2012-05-01). "Idiots In Superhero Costumes Reportedly Pepper Spraying Seattle May Day Protesters". Gawker.com. Retrieved 2012-05-02.
- "The Bob Rivers Morning Show on 95.7 KJR FM" (Interview). Interview with Bob Rivers. 2012-05-02.
- Seattle's self-proclaimed 'superheroes' help out on May Day - KCPQ
- Schauffler, Allen (9 November 2012). "'Superhero' Phoenix Jones gets into street brawl as officers watch". KING-TV. Archived from the original on 19 July 2013. Retrieved 10 March 2015.
- Raftery, Jillian (12 November 2012). "Phoenix Jones fist fight video goes viral". KIRO-FM/MYNorthwest.com. Bonneville International. Retrieved 10 March 2015.
- Beach, Randall (April 4, 2015). "The bloody and often odd life of a 'superhero'". New Haven Register. Retrieved April 5, 2015.
- Finnegan, Lizzy (24 September 2015). "Real Life Superhero Phoenix Jones Credited With Stopping an Attempted Murder". Retrieved 24 September 2015.
- "'The man in the tree' mesmerizes Seattle — from 80 feet". Washington Post. Retrieved 2016-10-25.
- Spangenthal-Lee, Jonah (2010-11-23). "On Patrol With Phoenix Jones: Guardian of Seattle". PubliCola. Retrieved 2011-10-11.
- Luke Duecy (2011-01-10). "Attack leaves Seattle 'superhero' with broken nose". KOMO-TV. Retrieved 2016-07-21.
- No charges against Seattle's self-appointed superhero | People | Downtown Seattle News
- "Masked crime fighter 'Phoenix Jones' arrested, identity revealed". Q13 FOX. 2011-10-10.
- "Unmasked Seattle superhero vows to keep fighting crime". MSNBC. 2011-10-13. Retrieved 2011-10-13.
- "Superhero Phoenix Jones won't be charged with assault". seattlepi. 2011-10-23. Retrieved 2012-02-05.
- "Ben "Flattop" Fodor MMA stats". sherdog.com. Retrieved 2015-03-10.
- "Strikeforce lightweight Caros Fodor discusses his 'superhero' brother, would love to fight him".
- "WSOF signs masked crimefighter 'Phoenix Jones,' aka Ben Fodor". mmajunkie.com. 2015-03-11. Retrieved 2015-03-11.
- "WSOF 23 video highlights: 'Phoenix Jones' scissor-chokes Roberto Yong", from MMAJunkie.com
- Phoenix Jones' Youtube channel with incident videos