Woman in video says Seattle 'superhero' assaulted her



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Posted on October 11, 2011 at 5:30 PM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 11 at 6:47 PM

SEATTLE -- One of the women seen on video tape hitting Seattle's self-proclaimed superhero with her shoe says he pepper sprayed her friends for no reason.

The woman, identified only as Maria, says she was with a group of about 15 friends early Sunday morning, near Western and Columbia, when a masked man, known as Phoenix Jones, ran up and pepper sprayed them.

"He says, 'I'm a superhero' and sprays everyone," she said. "Nothing gives him a right to do that. That's harassment and assault."

She says when she saw her friends shielding their eyes, she instinctively grabbed her shoe and started hitting Jones, dentified in police reports as Benjamin John Francis Fodor, and his companions, one of whom was videotaping the incident. The tape has since been posted in numerous websites online.

"I started hitting him, saying, 'Who are you? What are you doing? Leave us alone, we didn't do anything!" said Maria.

Jones has been the most public face of a group of vigilante crime stoppers to show up in Seattle in the last couple of years. His exploits have garnered much media attention, and he's had a camera crew trailing him in recent months.

"He is just trying to live out his fantasy as a childhood hero that he made up, and then scaring people at best," Maria said.

Jones claims he was trying to break up a fight, and that he was the one assaulted. His attorney, Caitlin DiMotta released a statement late Tuesday.

"Mr. Jones has not been charged with a crime and he is looking forward to clearing his name.  Mr. Jones is an asset to this community and is dedicated to protecting others when help is needed."

Seattle Police said the incident is an example of how vigilantism can go awry.

Jones could face four counts of assault. His next court date is set for Thursday.