Tuesday, October 11, 2011
STATEMENT ON PHOENIX JONES PATROL
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.
TESTIMONY OF TEA KRULOS ON PHOENIX JONES CONFRONTATION AND HIS SUBSEQUENT DETAINMENT
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.