Hero to villain? Vigilante Phoenix Jones arrested on drug charges in Seattle

In this Oct. 13, 2011 file photo, Benjamin Fodor, centre, a self-styled superhero who goes by the name Phoenix Jones, talks to reporters after he appeared in court in Seattle. AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.

That immortal line from The Dark Knight might apply to Phoenix Jones, the self-described “superhero” of Seattle who is now facing drug charges related to MDMA possession.

Jones, whose real name is Benjamin Francis Fodor, was arrested in Seattle on drug charges on Jan. 10, King County Court records show. He was released the following day.

The arrest was part of an undercover operation by the Seattle Police Department, according to documents obtained by local station KOMO News.

The documents allege that Jones/Fodor arranged to sell Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (a.k.a. Molly, ecstasy or MDMA) to an undercover officer.

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The self-styled superhero, 31, was arrested along with his girlfriend, Andrea Irene Berendsen, 26. Investigators also recovered several packets of cocaine during the arrest.

Both suspects were released the following day, jail records show.

Fodor’s secret origin story began approximately 10 years ago, when he claims he witnessed a friend getting beaten up and bloodied outside a bar. Fodor was training to be a mixed martial artist at the time, and he decided to use those skills to become a comic book-inspired superhero.

He donned a ski mask, called himself “Phoenix Jones” and recruited several others to patrol the city in search of crime. He and his crew would typically report those crimes to police.

He eventually upgraded his Phoenix Jones persona to include a full mask and suit.

Phoenix Jones was unmasked as Benjamin Fodor in 2011, after he pepper-sprayed four people and was arrested on charges of misdemeanour assault. Fodor appeared in court wearing his upgraded mask, then pulled it off to reveal his face.

Ben Fodor, right, a self-styled superhero who goes by the name ‘Phoenix Jones,’ talks with one of his attorneys, Caitlin DiMotta, centre, as they appear in court on Oct. 13, 2011, in Seattle. AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Prosecutors ultimately decided to drop the charges against him.

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AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Ben Fodor, a self-styled superhero who goes by the name “Phoenix Jones,” carries his mask outside court in Seattle on Oct. 13, 2011.

He continued to fight (or simply report) crime for several years and used his Phoenix Jones persona in the ring for several mixed martial arts matches.

Jones announced his retirement from crimefighting last year in a podcast, but he has continued to post social media messages about lost cars, roadside collisions and other minor misfortunes.

Fodor is due to appear in court on Feb. 3.

Will this spell the end of the costumed crusader?

Stay tuned to find out.


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