Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Phoenix Jones: The Space Needle Interview

Everything you need to conduct a good interview- a notepad and pen, digital camera, digital voice recorder, a cup of coffee and...a collapsible baton? At a cafe with Purple Reign and Phoenix Jones after the Space Needle interview. Photo by Lucien Knuteson.

The scene: October 8, a little past 8PM. Phoenix Jones has suggested we meet up at Seattle's famous Space Needle, then head to have a crime report meeting with his wife and team mate, Purple Reign, at a cafe. From there we headed out on the eventful patrol everyone has heard about.

It was cool with a light drizzle of rain. A busker wailed away on the saxophone. I had made contact with local photographer Lucien Knuteson. He told me he was on his way to the Space Needle, and while we waited I decided to record an interview.

I snapped this shot of the Space Needle moments before meeting up with Phoenix Jones.

Tea Krulos: The team- where would you like to see it go from here?

Phoenix Jones
: You know I really want to solidify one whole city. Like I think we’ve done parts- we made a big step in Bell Town, a big step in Pioneer Square but I would like there to be a more open line of communication between me and the police and a more direct response between me and the people.

I want it to be more like- you know, call the police and send a text message to Phoenix Jones and I want to have enough guys to send them here and there. Basically my own superhero-esqe police force. I think that would be pretty cool. But one that does it for free, obviously. And doesn’t write tickets.

(We encounter a High School homecoming football game near the Space Needle and stand on a hill behind the fence, taking it in. As we walk away, our dialog is inaudible but Jones mentions he was high school football team captain.)

TK: So you were captain of the football team?

PJ: I was, yeah.

TK: I know you get this a lot- people say you’re going to get stabbed, you’re going to get shot, you’re going to get killed- how do you respond to that?

(We encounter a small group of young high school guys, wide eyed at seeing Phoenix.)

Dude #1: Hey! Are you the Rain City…

PJ: I am, I’m Phoenix Jones.

Dude #2: I was watching your YouTube videos the other day.

PJ: My personal videos are on Phoenix-Cam.

Dude #2: Phoenix-Cam?

PJ: Yeah, it shows videos of us taking down drug dealers and stuff like that so check it out.

Dude #2: Alright, man.

PJ: You guys be good! Sorry about that. Ok, here’s the thing- so what makes a superhero a superhero is that they face adversity and they overcome it. If you are not facing adversity, you are not a hero. If you’re not in the line of fire, you are not a hero. When people got scared and said 'oh my god, he’s going to die' what they really said is- 'he’s stepping up, putting himself between danger and safety' and that is what I would expect everyone to do.

And could I get stabbed? Yes, happened. Could I get shot? Yes, it’s happened. Could I get hit with a baseball bat? Yes, it’s happened. Can I get my nose broken? Yes, it’s happened. But ideas are bulletproof. If they get me, they got to get the idea. And I think I’m at like reaching 2 million people- so they got to get an idea out of 2 million people’s heads and I’m not even halfway done yet.

TK: Is there ever an event or turning point that would make you stop?

PJ: Well... obviously if they get me, right that is going to make me stop ipso facto. I guess as long as there is a separation between my family and this, I’m not going to stop. I think if someone brought my family into it, it would make things more complicated for sure. That is when I would have to really weigh the costs.

But I think at that point I would have already made my choice because if they are coming after my family it is not going to stop because I hang up the cape or hang up the cowl. because I have already set an idea.

It is like the scene in Batman when they talk to the Joker and he is like ‘you’ve changed things. We can’t go back to the way it was.' I feel if they are coming after my family, I’ve already changed things. And at that point quitting isn’t going to help- we got to move and I got to make a long commute.

TK: How would you describe your experiences with the media?

PJ: They went in waves. The first wave was 90% negative and kinda twisted what I said. It wasn’t helpful to me, it was a hindrance, it was terrible. The middle wave was the curiosity of- is this guy for real? And for the most part I think the ‘for real’ part was answered and now I am in the last one and that is understanding. And I’m having the most fun with this one- where people have gotten over the fact that I’m out there. They’ve gotten over the fact that I really do interject in crime. Now it’s come down to- why?

And I think this is a lot more entertaining and a lot more interesting and a lot more – I feel helpful- for the people to understand why instead of trying to find out if it is truth or a publicity stunt.

TK: What advice would you give- like there were those young guys back at the football game who were interested in you and what you do- what advice do you give to people who are inspired by you and want to do what you do?

PJ: Well, there are two things. The first thing is that there are two types of heroes- the type of hero that responds to a need, a calling where they live or they respond to a threat and out of that threat they arise to be heroes. Then there are the calculated heroes who have taken the time to train and then put themselves in the line of fire to prove they are heroes. You want to be the latter. You want to be trained if you are responding to a threat or a purpose. Don’t wake up one day and dress in spandex and walk down the street and fight crime. It is not going to end well.

Dude walking by
: Hey, nice suit, man!

: Thank you, guys!
The second thing I tell them is that the hero and the coward are mostly the same, the difference is the coward doesn’t do something and the hero responds to his training. If you see a situation and you don’t do anything you are defined by the actions of not doing anything If you see a situation and you do something, you are defined by your actions of doing something, but none of those definitions are ever going to line up with what you think. No matter how brave you are and how much crime you fight and stop bad things from happening people are going to judge you and you have to be ready for that and willing to take that, no matter how noble your choice is. This isn’t a road to become famous. 90% of the superheroes who are really doing work, no one will ever hear about.

TK: Being out with you, I’ve seen a lot of people recognize you, give you high fives and stuff like that- how does it feel to have this sort of reception from Seattle?

PJ: It is really funny because it- you know, here’s a good explanation. Remember yesterday when we saw the hot dog vendor who we had helped his cart not get robbed by those guys and he gave us the free VIP passes for hot dogs-

TK: Yeah.

Here is a photo I took of Jones and his team mate Mist talking to the hot dog vendor he is mentioning.

PJ: That kind of thing is awesome. In the same breath, the people who have had an experience with me, a feeling with me and have an emotion attached with me, that is when it feels good. That is when I feel like- yes!- I have changed the way that guy thinks about me being a superhero. Now when it is just people who have heard about me and think its cool- when something bad shows up on TV they are going to think what that said and when an article comes out, they are going to think what that says.

Right after this article with a bunch of lies was written about me, people were actually spitting on me when I walked by on the streets it took me months of doing what I had been doing before people realized that article wasn’t true.

When someone comes up and says- hey you saved my cousin from this or you saved my bus from getting robbed or you saved my hot dog stand from getting robbed, those always feel great. When someone gives me a high five because they recognize me, it feels good but I take it just at that because I know it is easy to flip and turn.

That is why when people do that, I say 'hey check out my Phoenix-Cam' because there is video of real people having everyday experiences with me and I feel the more they see video and are like 'hey that guy is real and that guy is real and that guy is real' it is going to be harder to change their mind to be negative toward me. You know?

At this point Lucien calls me and we meet up with him and head over to the crime meeting.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Enhanced Video Shows Fight

Yesterday, I posted reactions from RLSH about last week's famous incident with Phoenix Jones. Whatever you may think of his actions an enhanced video that has just been released should prove that what he was running into was indeed a fight- and a pretty heated one at that.

The cropped and magnified video shows you what Jones, myself, RCSM member Ghost, and Ryan McNamee (who shot the video) saw.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

RLSH Community Reacts to Jones Case

Phoenix Jones in court.

For the last week I've been writing about Phoenix Jones, an incident I witnesses and the aftermath. Jones has always been a controversial figure in the RLSH world. Some love him, some hate him and some aren't quite sure what to make. Opinions on last week's incident have varied quite a bit. Some think it is no biggie, others have speculated it is the beginning of the end and could lead to a strong anti-RLSH campaign.

I asked a random group of RLSH to share their opinions of the Jones case based on my testimony of the event (which you can find in an entry from Wednesday.)

DARK GUARDIAN/ RLSH of NYC/ member of the New York Intiative

I believe he acted inappropriately in this instance. He rushed into a situation and reacted with very poor judgement. He maced a group of people who were not attacking him. He was not acting in self defense and the police have rightfully charged him with assault. This is an example of what not to do as a community crime-fighter. It should be a priority to de-escalate situations and work hand in hand with the police to garner the smartest and safest outcome. I stand with the police and want everyone to know he is not a true reflection on what others like myself do in our communities to help.

EON/ RLSH of California

Phoenix Jones was unprepared to deal with the situation and didn't handle it well. I don't think he's a bad person, I don't think he had malicious intent, I don't even think he did anything criminal. To be honest, I even kinda like Phoenix Jones at this point.

He just didn't handle it well... and I'm not talking about morality, I'm talking about skill. It was only a group of rowdy drunks. There's no reason for that to lead to running in around in terror thinking defenseless members of your group are going to get shot and ultimately to being arrested. There are SO many ways to avoid something like that: effective teamwork, a nearby vehicle, standing out of arms reach and issuing a verbal challenge before engaging, etc etc etc.

THE WATCHMAN/ RLSH of Milwaukee/ reallifeseuperheroes.org admin/ member of The Challengers

In regards to the recent incident in Seattle leading to the arrest of Phoenix Jones by police, I find it difficult to know just what to say. Much of my opinion must be based on speculation because I was not present and the evidence presented to me is not very clear. It is nearly impossible to determine the facts based on the video alone, and I know firsthand that the media does not always have the facts either, so I must also refer to what I've been told by my trusted friend, Tea Krulos, and try to filter through everything else.

I find this reminiscent of most other stories involving Phoenix Jones. There is a great deal of media coverage and heated internet conversations, and a lot of whispering to one another behind closed doors, but it is far too often based on speculation and biased opinions.

It is impossible for any of us to know with absolute certainty what we would do in any situation until we are in that same situation ourselves. However, I know how I have dealt with other situations in the past, and I do carry pepper spray on my own patrols, and I can tell you that I have not once used pepper spray to break up a fight. The analogy I have used in discussing my belief in the matter is this: trying to stop a crowd of people from fighting by spraying pepper spray on them is like trying to keep a forest from burning by dumping napalm on it.

I think it is great to have people out there trying to keep their communities safe, but they need to use their heads when doing so. Regardless of what was happening that night, Phoenix Jones and his aggressive style clearly seemed to make it worse rather than better. While it was likely a problem that needed immediate attention, I think it was handled poorly. It is important to keep your cool and be level-headed in situations such as these. People need to be cooled down, not have fuel thrown on their fire. Still, a call was made, which is better than to have stood by and done nothing.

I find the actions of the police that night to be even worse. Statements should have been taken from all involved, and evidence should have been viewed. All of the people there should have been treated equally. Instead, it appears that the police only cared about knocking down just one man, Phoenix Jones. As a proud supporter of local law enforcement, I hate to see things like this happen. All too often a few bad cops, or even just a few bad decisions made by cops, make cops look bad. I believe those police officers did a disservice to all police officers. It is reasons like that that so many people hate and fear the police rather than respecting and honoring them.
The Watchman


Heroes in the Night: Did he do the right thing?

Yes. He clearly saw that there was more than one altercation going on and that several people were involved. At least one person was even knocked to the ground and kicked. There was NO TIME for verbal de-escalation (and I am a huge supporter of de-escalation). He had to break up the combatants immediately before the situation became even more violent- possibly leading to more injuries, or worse.

He did not hose people with the pepper spray, but directed it only at those involved in actually fighting. AND only after calling out warnings for people to break it up. These facts are not disputed by actual eye witnesses, or the video, only by people who were not there and who interpreted the video incorrectly.

Phoenix went out of his way NOT to spray, or engage, those not involved in the actual fighting.. Even to the point he allowed himself to be attacked multiple times. He assessed the situation, took immediate action to break up the violence and prevented further injuries. At no time did he intentionally inflict harm upon anyone not involved that I saw. Some people standing close by caught peripheral spray, but this wasn't harmful, and was a lot less dangerous than if he waded into the fight and started throwing people around on the ground to separate them.

This is going to piss a lot of people off, but in the same situation, I probably would have done the exact same thing.

HITN: What lessons can the RLSH take away from this?

People need to stop pre-judging and armchair quarterbacking. So many people have been waiting for Phoenix to screw up that they howled in delight and mis-interpreted the evidence even when they looked at it in slow motion.

This situation also shows how dangerous what we do is. For some it's not so hairy, but for Phoenix and his team it was a nightmare that could have ended worse. Preparation is key, and having a clear head and calling out directions during the whole thing showed leadership and tactics. People forget that several of Phoenix's team have military backgrounds. They didn't go haywire and bash people which is something that sadly many people in the current community might have done when confronted and attacked.

Mr Jones didn't run in seeking glory. He went in to stop a potentially volatile and violent situation. Nobody who wasn't there knows what might have happened had he not stepped in. And his team backed him up. It wasn't one man, but a TEAM effort, with their leader out in front where he should be.

SKY MAN/ RLSH of Seattle

HITN: If you were in that situation what would you do differently?

Me personally? I dabble in street patrolling and am still studying the, well, for lack of a better word, “proper” ways of going about it. I started out my career as an RLSH focused solely on charity and humanitarian work... I have no previous fighting or self-defense experience. This is why I set up the rule for myself of never patrolling alone. I'm glad PJ doesn't practice this either a whole lot, though I have heard that he does from time to time and I'm concerned for him.... no matter how much self-defense training of personal protection devices you carry with you you can't prepare for every situation or eventuality. This ain't Adventure Comics!
I wouldn't have rushed in and gotten in the middle of a fight that I was outnumbered in... straight up! Would I have intervened if my approach and presence hadn't stopped it? Of course, just not with the “shoot first, ask questions later” mentality.

HITN: What do you think of him being charged with assault?

Ridiculous!Though bear mace is potent stuff and once sprayed its trail is quite lasting! When the main defendant was interviewed by KING 5 news, which I made my feelings known about on FB, I wasn't surprised to hear that she and her friends were standing around WATCHING a fight take place. So she felt the aftereffects of the bear mace... I consider her apathy and non-interventionist philosophy more wrong that what PJ did.

Also, the arresting officer may hold a grudge against PJ, for whatever reason... but he doesn't hold that grudge against PJ alone! I remember a few months back in the summer the same officer criticized me and my associates for doing a homeless handout and calling in the cops to notify them of a situation across the street from where we were doing our outreach.
Sky Man

BRIDGES/ RLSH of Seattle

In a nut shell, I think he did the right thing for the wrong reasons.

I also think that what he did has repercussions for all of us. In addition to having to deliver reality checks to the guaranteed crop of newbies that pop up in response to all the media attention (only now instead of being influenced by Kickass, they're going to be following a real person's example and think that they can get away with way more than they actually can), I'm also worried about even worse RLSH relationships with SPD (and possibly other police departments) and possibly even a reevaluation of current legislation. I would not be at all surprised if the future holds changes in self-defense/citizen's arrest laws or judicial management of those laws that make doing what we want to do harder. These laws are intentionally a little grey so that ordinary citizens don't have to be experts to feel safe in doing the right thing - recent (and probably inevitable future) abuses of these laws might cause a shift towards more strict rules.

Time will tell.

The one thing I know for certain is that this incident demonstrates a critical problem for the RLSH - being able to admit making a mistake. PJ may be the most egregious offender, but there are definitely others who are hot on his tail. Hell, I struggle with it.

Keep in mind, I'm not saying that everything PJ does is bad. Far from it. I've met/patrolled with/ and argued my fair share with the guy. I can tell you that he is very passionate about what he does, as well as charismatic. I'd be completely remiss to gloss over the massive public and financial support he has developed that allows him and the RCSM patrol as much--if not more than, the most active members of the community. Finally, he has given this community/movement/clusterfuck an immense amount of media exposure.

This last contribution is what makes his denials of and attempts to cover up his flaws (and other's lack of recognition of those flaws) so dangerous.

As someone who's been wrong about more things than I like to admit (part of the territory of being headstrong and fond of being "right") I fully understand how hard it is to admit fault, or to justify and trivialize other's criticisms because "I've done so many great things!" The thing is, even the most brilliant, accomplished people make mistakes. What separates the good from the great is their ability to adapt and learn from their mistakes.

Like most other aspects of growing up, learning to admit faults is a long, painful process that often looks really damn ugly. It's also necessary.

Hopefully that's somewhat useful to someone.


Comedian Seth Meyer, on Saturday Night Live's Weekend Update: "Phoenix Jones, a self proclaimed costumed vigilante was arrested in Seattle after he allegedly used pepper spray on a group of people leaving a night club. Jones apparently became a superhero after he was bitten by a radioactive idiot."

Former Seattle mayor Paul Schell (on The John Curley Show):"I think you don't need vigilantes. I think you need to make it clear you need police to do a police job otherwise you have chaos. I'm sorry but- and there are always characters like you remember, John, there was this guy who came to every press conference convinced that police had killed Kurt Cobain...so there are characters and that's fine but when someone is taking law into their own hands acting like a vigilante and actually doing that, then it is no longer funny."

You've read these reactions, now I hope you'll add your own in the comments section.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Plot Thickens For Phoenix Jones

Phoenix Jones with a fan on the street.

Early Sunday morning Rain City Superhero Movement Phoenix Jones ran into a bar brawl and was subsequently detained by police. I was there to witness the whole thing and have been offering small updates all week.

But I haven't been the only one interested in the story- there has been a media explosion over the incident. Every Seattle media outlet has been following the story and it has caught on with media around the world.

This has led to Phoenix Jones picking up a large number of supporters on the internet- his official Facebook fan page has close to 34,000 fans from around the world. Some have replaced their own avatar with his picture or posted their own Phoenix Jones fan art.

A sample of some messages on his fan page wall:

"Pow Bam Kaboom......Bringing old sckool whip azz back! I LUV IT"

"Puerto Rico, USA supports you. Come here to inspire other people."

"You have restored my faith in humanity and made me realise there are still people in the world who actually care for others. I have so much respect for you!"

"Keep up the good work, Brother. Don't let the man bring you down."

"dude i just found out seattle has a super hero, i pray you stay safe and protected."

"Hats off to ya, man. A ton of people live in the world...Not many wanting to save it. Be strong, be safe!"

"Steven Seagal should support you,that would be AWESOME"

* * * *

The Rain City Superhero Movement will try to tap into some of this good will tonight for a Community Patrol. The Facebook event page reads:
Phoenix Jones, Purple Reign, and the rest of the Rain City Superheros would like to invite the community to patrol this weekend, Saturday 10pm 1st and Pike. The patrol will be approximately 2 hours. We'd like everyone to come and show their support while seeing how our evening patrols operate and ask any questions about what we do. If any crimes are witnessed we encourage you to call 911 and act as a witness. We do not want anyone to get hurt, if there are any altercations the RCSM team will step in to deescalate.

As of this posting, 17 people have indicated they "are attending."

* * * *

Heroes in the Night is finding a mixed legacy on the responding officer who arrested Phoenix Jones, Officer Camilo DePina. He was awarded as "Officer of the Month" by a Seattle television station in 2008 for successfully talking a suicidal woman off a bridge while off duty.

However, he was sued in 2010 for excessive force in a 2007 incident. In that incident a man, Dewoyne Lowe, had an argument with a security guard at a restaurant. According to KOMO news, court documents allege this story:

As Lowe began walking away, DePina cut him off with his patrol car, the suit alleges. The officer slammed Lowe's head, face-first, into the ground, cuffed him, then threw him onto the hood of the patrol car, (Lowe's attorney) said.

DePina punched Lowe in the groin and "continued his assault in the presence of Officer (Christopher) Christman at the police station by slamming Mr. Lowe's head into the counter multiple times," said (Lowe's attorney) in a written statement.

(Source: www.komonews.com/news/local/95822264.html)

Phoenix Jones says that he has encountered Officer DePina before. Jones alleges that he called in a bag of drugs he found on the street. He says that DePina responded, told Jones to "go home" and drove away. Jones alleges he again met DePina when he had one of his team members act as an "undercover agent" to buy drugs off a dealer. Jones says DePina responded and told him "I've had enough of this vigilante bullshit" and refused to book the dealer.

(Source: Interview on The John Curley Show.)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Phoenix Jones in Court

I am posting these two photos of Phoenix Jones in court today...just because.
Photos appeared on the KOMO News website.
Jones with his attorney before he was asked to remove his mask.
Jones outside the courtroom before dramatically taking off his mask and admitting his identity to media. It looks kind of like a comic book cover, doesn't it?

NEWS FLASH: Phoenix Jones Not Charged

Phoenix Jones displays a custom bullet proof "bat shield."

Yesterday I gave a report on "the incident" I witnessed firsthand between Phoenix Jones and a group of individuals who were fighting with each other. (See previous blog entry.)

Jones had a court date this morning and, as I predicted, he showed up to court wearing his mask and his "super suit" underneath a regular suit. He was asked to remove his mask by a court officer, which he did.

The Seattle City Attorney's Office did not file charges against Jones, but according to a seattlepi.com report, "they still have the option to file charges in the case later."

After the hearing Jones put his mask back on, but outside he dramatically ripped it off and revealed his identity--Benjamin Fodor--to reporters.

Seattlepi.com also reports this statement from Jones:

"There were no charges filed, so I will continue to patrol," Fodor told the group of reporters outside King County Jail, where he had the 9 a.m. hearing. "I'm gonna be out with my team probably tonight."

Additional note: "Other journalist" in this and other reports is me, Tea Krulos.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


A scene from earlier in the night- I take notes near a lamp post, Phoenix Jones talks to a club bouncer, police officers question someone involved in a bar fight.

I have just returned to my home after a trip to the Pacific Northwest- Portland and Seattle. I met a lot of interesting people and participated in a number of activities. I will share these with readers soon, but for now I think it is important I write about a specific event (meanwhile, if you’re curious, you can check out my awesome itinerary in the entry on the blog prior to this one.)

For now I’m going to write about an event involving Phoenix Jones because it has gotten a lot of media attention in the last couple days. I feel it is important to give my eyewitness account of the event for public record, especially as it was not recorded by the Seattle police department.


My name is Tea Krulos and I am a freelance journalist from Milwaukee, WI. I am writing a book about "real life super heroes" titled Heroes in the Night. As such, I planned a trip to Portland and Seattle to meet real life superheroes including Phoenix Jones and his group. This is my account of the incident, which I am willing to say under oath.

Around 2:30 Sunday morning I was on patrol with Phoenix Jones, video/photographer Ryan McNamee, and a Rain City Superhero Movement member, named Ghost. It had been an eventful night already. Phoenix Jones had intervened in two fights outside of bars in the Pioneer Square area. He used pepper spray in at least one, maybe both cases. Later he was observing a group when a person made threats and brandished a gun. Jones ran across the street and informed police officers, who subsequently detained the individual.

At 2:30 AM we were hanging around 1st Avenue up a ramp from some parking lots near Columbia and Western. Jones was talking with someone on the street that wanted to ask him questions about what he does and take a picture with him.

We heard some loud, aggressive shouting. McNamee said “Phoenix, there's a big fight!” We looked down the ramp and saw a group of 7-9 people in the middle of Columbia Street. The males in the group were pushing and hitting each other and there was a lot of yelling. Jones began to run down the ramp towards them and yelled “CALL 9-11!” As we ran after him, I observed one of the males in the group slam a man into the street and then began kicking him. Two men nearby were grappling with each other.

Jones ran into the middle of the group and yelled “BACK OFF!” a couple times, holding a canister of pepper spray up to display that he was armed with it. He then sprayed one or two of the men who were fighting with the pepper spray.

After this, the scene became very chaotic. The other people in the group had felt the residual effects of the pepper spray. Two females in the group were irate that they had caught some of the pepper spray and that one of their boyfriends had been sprayed. They began to attack Phoenix Jones and Ghost. One of the women repeatedly chased and hit Jones with her high heel shoe. The other woman made a slight effort to hit me and McNamee. I told her to "calm down." Jones yelled "TEA, CALL 911!"

As I was calling 911, a car (a BMW) appeared, did a sharp u-turn and hit one member of the party that had been fighting. It certainly appeared to be intentional. The man that got hit got up and walked away. The car then sped off- Jones chased it down the street shouting out the license plate number. He yelled for me to "CALL 911" again, but I was already on the line. After running after the vehicle, Jones returned. The group of people had moved a little further down the street and congregated in a parking lot. Jones got on the phone with 911 and walked to the block across the street from the group. The females saw him and ran and attacked Jones again. Jones handed me his phone to take over with the 911 dispatcher.

About four of the men, who spoke in Russian, crossed the street. They joined the females and began punching Ghost and McNamee, throwing McNamee into a wall. Jones ran over and dispersed them with more pepper spray. He began leading me, McNamee, and Ghost into putting space between the two groups. As I was walking to catch up with them, still on the phone, one of the men ran up and punched me on the right side of my face. "You are with them! Why?!" He shouted. I told him I wasn't with anyone and told him to back away. I told 911 I had to cut short their questions and take cover because we were "under attack." I cut through an opposing parking lot and half hid behind a concrete pillar. Jones was across the street near an entrance to a ferry terminal. He called for us to cross the street.

I crossed to a median in the middle of the road and talked with Jones for a moment, although I don't remember much of that conversation other than us asking each other if we were ok. We then saw some of the group of people pointing and shouting at us. Two of them ran and got into an Escalade style SUV and revved it up.

"PROTECT YOURSELF--TAKE COVER!" Jones shouted. I crossed the street back to the concrete pillar, where I could keep an eye on both groups of people. The Escalade drove toward Phoenix and he, Ghost, and McNamee went into the ferry terminal to take cover. A man got out of the passenger side of the Escalade and began trying to throw rocks at them. After throwing a few rocks he got back in the Escalade and they returned to the parking lot under the bridge.

Very shortly after that, police arrived on the scene. One squad blocked off the group under the bridge and one squad pulled up near Jones, who waved his arm to flag them down. They instructed him to put his pepper spray on the ground and told him to put his hands on the hood of the squad.

The officers told me, Ghost, and McNamee that we should leave or we would "all be arrested for assault." Ghost took this advice and left. Me and McNamee walked a short distance away so we would not be in the immediate area but could still observe what was going on. We saw the officer instruct Jones to remove his mask and place his ID on the hood of the car. After a minute one of the officers said we should "join the party" and return to the squad. They took our IDs and asked why we were there. We told them and they ran our IDs.

Jones asked if he could put his mask back on since he had been identified. An officer nodded and Jones grabbed his mask, and said in a growling voice-- "GIVE ME BACK MY FACE"- a line the character Rorschach says in the graphic novel Watchmen when he is arrested and demasked. He put his mask back on.

An officer said "this goes for all three of you" and read us our Miranda rights. They handcuffed Jones and placed him in the back of the squad. They returned IDs to me and McNamee and told us to leave. We did not issue statements. From there, me and McNamee, somewhat shook up by the event, started to head back to his car, trying to figure a way that would avoid crossing paths with the other party, as we were afraid if we encountered them they would attack. We eventually got there and McNamee drove me back to a friend's house I was staying at in West Seattle.

Video added-

Phoenix Jones Stops Assault from Ryan McNamee on Vimeo.


Me and Anti-Man in Portland



(Times are approximate.)


19:05 HRS- Arrive at PDX in Portland.
21:00- Meet local friends for drinks.

15:00- Meet up with Knight Owl and go to a martial arts studio where he takes a Krav Maga class. I take an introductory course and then join Knight Owl for a regular class.
11:00- Me and Knight Owl meet Anti-Man for a patrol in the Chinatown area.


11:00- Meet Illya, who was formerly a RLSH named Zetaman for coffee. Discuss his life post RLSH. Later we stop by an Occupy Protest rally, the Cosmic Monkey comic book store, and the MacDonald Center- a shelter where Illya helps with a program that uses inspiration through superheroes.
14:00- Return to Occupy Portland rally and walk in a march through downtown Portland.
19:00- Meet two members of the Rose City Rebellion, Iconoclast and Dark Wolf, for a patrol around downtown/ Chinatown.

FRI., Oct.7
12:00- Board train to Seattle.
23:00- Picked up by Phoenix Jones and Mist, meet up with their Rain City Superhero Movement team mates Ghost and Pitch Black. Also along- video/photographer Ryan MacNamee and reporter A.J. Roberts. We did a patrol around the U-district, and then Belltown.
L-R: Phoenix Jones, A.J. Roberts, Tea Krulos, Mist

SAT., Oct.8
20:00- Meet Phoenix Jones at space needle, conduct interview while walking around area near space needle, meet up with photographer Lucien Knuteson.
21:00- Me, Jones, and Knuteson head over to the Chocolati cafĂ© to have a meeting with Jones’ wife, Purple Reign who goes over maps of crime activity with us.
22:00- Begin patrol of Pioneer Square area. Jones breaks up a couple bar fights and gets someone detained for brandishing a weapon.
2:30: Patrol ends after Jones is detained following a large scale brawl (Description to follow in next blog entry).

SUN., Oct.9
11:00-18:00- Attend a gadgeteer build meet up in Everett with Victim, Sky Man, White Baron, and Sir Bob working on a variety of projects.

MON., Oct. 9
11:00- News of Jones’ detainment has been picked up in a major way by the media. I do an interview with MSNBC.(www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44848642/ns/us_news-crime_and_courts/t/superhero-arrested-accused-pepper-spray-assault/#.TpSH4nKOdv9)
12:00- Do lunch and an on camera interview with Matt Harrison for his documentary Citizen Heroes.
15:00- Get coffee with “real life super villainess” Agent Beryllium of the villain group ROACH.
19:00- Interviewed with Ryan MacNamee about the Saturday night incident for The John Curley Show on 97.3 KIRO. Jones makes a surprise visit with Purple Reighn and is also interviewed. (Show: http://mynorthwest.com/?nid=577&a=34554&p&n)
21:00- After interview I am dropped off by Ryan, Phoenix, and Purple at the light rail station to head to the airport.
23:00- Fly out of SEA-TAC toward Milwaukee.

This concludes travels in relation to writing Heroes in the Night.

Monday, October 10, 2011


Well, it's been a crazy weekend in Seattle. The media is blowing up with the story of Phoenix Jones being detained after intervening in a brawl. I was there. I witnessed the whole thing. I even got punched a couple times myself.

I will be giving a full account on the blog tomorrow. For now I want to dispute one thing- the people Phoenix disrupted WERE NOT DANCING/ "FROLICKING",or "having a good time."

They were beating the crap out of two people.