The day Phoenix Jones revealed himself to the world
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It was just like a scene from a movie the day Real Life Superhero Phoenix Jones’s assault charges were dropped.
As more than a dozen journalists and photographers crowed around him, the 23 year-old Seattle-ite took off his black and gold mask for the first time in public.
For two years, he had been known for fighting crime. That day told the world, “I’m Phoenix Jones. I’m also Ben Fodor. I also protect the city, I also am a father, I also am a brother. I’m just like everyone else.”
Some call them Real Life Superheroes. Others refer to them as crime fighters or crime-prevention patrollers. Phoenix Jones and his team, the “Rain City Superhero Movement” call themselves a Crime Prevention Brigade.
For the past two years, they have been arresting carjackers, car stealers, attackers, and people threatening others with a gun, in the troubled areas of Seattle.
Equipped with bullet-proof vests, stab plating, pepper spray, tazers and carrying a first aid kit, the 10-person team risks their lives to protect the lives of others. Even with protection equipment, the job is dangerous: Jones has been shot once and stabbed twice.
Phoenix Jones is a 6 foot, 185 pound Mixed Martial Artist champion who calls on lessons learned in his tough childhood to build his strong character.
Born to criminal parents who stole and sold narcotics, Phoenix - or Ben - was the middle child of a family of five. He was the only one who was sent to live in an orphanage, from zero to five years old. “I guess it was just luck of the draw. Just flip a coin,” he recalls.
During that period of time, his mother got busted for selling drugs out of her baby carriage. When he was five, the system returned Phoenix to live with his father and siblings.
Two years later, life took a dramatic turn. While Phoenix was waiting in the car for his father to come back from running errands, he heard gun shots. His father had attempted to rob a convenience store and was killed.
Phoenix was placed in an orphanage but found it hard to relate and make friends. He wasn’t like the others: even though his mother was in prison, he had a parent.
Jones was adopted at nine years old, but had to spend half the time in his new family and half the time at the orphanage, as a rule from the orphanage. At 11, he moved to his new home permanently and settled into a new school where Jones starting training in martial arts and by14, was already a black belt.
After high school, he trained to work with autistic children, his passion for five years.
In October 2011, Phoenix was charged with assault when he broke up a fight using pepper spray. His costume was taken and his identity was revealed as public record. Even though the charges were dropped, the authorities kept his uniform for weeks.
Jones chose to embrace the circumstances and even though he lost his job and license to work with the autistic because of the assault accusations. He faced the public bravely. Now, with a little less mystery, he continues to patrol, protect, and inspire the citizens of Seattle.