Vigilante Injustice: Rain City Superhero Arrested
Remember how the cops were always trying to arrest batman? Most of the time. I mean sometimes there was the bat signal and all that but pretty much a cornerstone of every Batman plot arc is that at some point the po-po decide he’s the bad guy (invariably incorrectly) and try to bring him in. It earns them a few busted skulls and an embarrassing medal ceremony once he saves Gotham from the real villains, again. They never seem to learn their lesson.
Real life ain’t quite like that. Nor is it even like Kick-Ass, which adopted a middle-of-the-comic-book-road approach to superheroing, with vaguely realistic people behind the masks but a plot (and fight scenes) that smacked of Tarantino on goofballs. In real life, the superhero is called Benjamin Fodor (costume name: Phoenix Jones), is twenty three, and just got arrested on assault charges for hosing down a bunch of people leaving a nightclub with pepper spray.
Fodor—sorry, Phoenix—claims that a fight was breaking out among members of the group, and he was only keeping the peace. Not two hours earlier he had intercepted a similar confrontation outside another Seattle club, and witnesses thereto have declared their support for his actions.
“”Without a question, there was a fight going to happen,” Heuring, the 27 year old target of the assailant that Phoenix neutralized, said. “It could have ended ugly had he not come in. He used good judgment in our case. He saw who was instigating it and who he needed to defend.”
The later incident was not so clean-cut, however. Members of the group Phoenix intercepted claimed that no such fight was breaking out, and police arrested Phoenix on charges of assault. He appeared in court last week but has not been formally charged by prosecutors. Phoenix, however, remains adamant that he was doing—and continues to do—the right thing. He even invited members of the public to join him on patrol Saturday night.
The real life superhero movement has attracted increasing attention of late, and not just because Kick-Ass made it seem like a semi-feasible, if liable to get one gruesomely murdered, undertaking. HBO produced a documentary on the movement, and articles in the New York Times, GQ, and elsewhere have created a rising public fascination with the phenomenon. It’s also hard to ignore the guy in spandex and tighty whiteys who strolls by the clubs at 2am packing serious capsaicin-based heat.
Especially if he drenches your face with it.
Police aren’t so keen on the new phenomenon. They prefer the neighborhood watch approach—observe and report—and want the superheroes to leave direct crime-fighting to the pros. Some superheroes do actually fit that model. But most are looking for a little more of a taste of the action, and who can blame them? I mean, you invested in that sculpted rubber six-back breastplate thingy, after all. Better prove that it’s form-fitting and not just jello-molding. And babes just don’t go for professional snitches.
But Phoenix’s case highlights the dilemma of regular Joes making a hobby out of something it usually requires years of training to do as a job. Even with that training, police make crazy, utterly mind-boggling mistakes all the time—like tazing a ten year old. Put those weapons in the hands of an eager amateur, and you’re asking for trouble.
But there’s no law against this, and it’s hard to imagine their being one. Besides the crazy get-ups and the regular hours, these superheroes are no different from the good Samaritan who steps into a sidewalk domestic and saves Sheila from the black eye that Bubba was about to hand her. You could ban their weaponry—many places do—but it’s pretty much a guarantee it won’t dull their enthusiasm. They’ll just sign up for Krav Maga classes and stand a much higher risk of getting pummeled themselves.
Or turn to guns. Which would obviously work out great.
So in all likelihood we’re stuck with them, these caped crusaders of the suburban streets. The question is how to tip the balance away from public pepper-sprayings, and in favor of diplomatic dispute resolution. What we really need is an army of masked Nelson Mandelas, roaming the streets until dawn and politely suggesting that ne’er-do-wells sit down at a table and talk things over like adults. Possibly a folding card table, for easy portability. Their weapons would be the Non-Enforceable Bilateral Agreement of Peaceableness, the Tepid Water Jug of Mild Thirstiness, and the Cashew Nuts of Hospitable Atmosphere. Their rapier wit and keen negotiating skills would be renowned throughout the world. They could have Twitter feeds.
Never mind, they already have those. And frankly, I’d rather go Bruce Lee on a drunken bar fighter than convince him that he has deep-seated daddy problems and should consider seeing a therapist, really try to turn his life around.
Excuse me while I go order a custom molded rubber breastplate on eBay.
Follow us on twitter@thefastertimes
- 1 Brooklyn Man Now Living Entirely Off Own Beard Garden
- 2 “Cra Cra” Now Official Diagnosis in New DSM (DSM-5)
- 3 OfficeMax Marketing Director Struggling to Make Staplers ‘Sexy’ and ‘Conversational’
- 4 First Openly Straight Figure Skater Comes Forward
- 5 Area Man Tailors Life To Be More Relevant To His Hulu Advertisements
- 6 Fan Banging Furiously on Glass Could Be the Difference in Hockey Playoffs
- 7 Survey: 88% of Eagles Fans Too Drunk To Spell Nnamdi Asomugha Last Season
- 8 Attorney Actually Starting to Believe Own Bullshit
- 9 Homeless Guy Woos Silicon Valley VCs with Low-Tech Crowdfunding Strartup
- 10 Local Mom Won’t Stop Being First Person to Like Every Goddamn Thing Son Posts to Facebook