Self-proclaimed Seattle superhero Phoenix Jones, a vigilante crime fighter, is due in court on Thursday to face charges that he assaulted a group of people with pepper spray outside a nightclub.
The costumed defendant, whose real name is Benjamin John Francis Fodor, 23, has become something of a local celebrity since he began patrolling downtown Seattle streets nearly a year ago to break up fights and alert police to petty crimes in progress, such as drunken driving and car burglaries.
Disguised by a hooded mask and wearing a molded black-and-yellow suit of body armor, Fodor carries pepper spray, a Taser stun gun and a cell phone as he makes his late-night rounds. He also attends charity events on request.
Fodor has been joined on some exploits by any number of fellow freelance crime fighters who assume such alter egos as No Name and Thorn in a collective that bills itself as the "Rain City Superheroes Movement."
His "secret identity" had remained unknown to the public, however, until media reports about his arrest this week exposed the real name of the man behind the mask.