Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Superheroes Walking the Streets of Seattle... Police advise against it.

If you liked NBC's new superhero drama "The Cape," you will definitely like this; Seattle's crime fighter, Phoenix. Three of KOMO's stories together. 

KOMO News: Phoenix Jones calls himself a crime fighter. 
He has a cape, a mask and a stun gun and he spends several nights each week patrolling Seattle and other areas trying to stop crime. 
"I endanger my life with a reason and a purpose," he says. 
But over the weekend, a man held Phoenix at gunpoint and another broke his nose. Police say enough is enough and that someone may end up getting killed. "Don't insert yourself into those situations," Seattle Police Detective Mark Jamieson said in an interview last week. "If you see something, call 911."

Phoenix said it was no big deal, but the attack is exactly what police were afraid was going to happen when Phoenix and his superhero cohorts started patrolling the city. 
"They insert themselves into a potentially volatile situation and then they end up being victimized as well," Jamieson said. Police worry Phoenix's recent taste of fame has pushed him to put himself in harm's way. 
He has been featured on international news shows, and said he declined offers from the Discovery Channel, MTV and A&E to be in a reality TV series. People on the street stop him and ask him for autographs, but Phoenix said that's not what motivates him. "I train for these situations," he said. "I don't just come out willy nilly and run out on the streets."
Officials say it's not illegal to dress up in costume and patrol, but with the stakes higher they're asking the would-be superheros to just call 911.
He says he wears the mask to protect his family from bad guys who may want revenge. But what about the costume? "Surprisingly enough the easiest thing to hide bullet proofing under and be recognizable for police so I don't get shot, is a super suit," Phoenix says.
For Phoenix, being a real-life superhero is part feeding the homeless, part public relations, and nothing like the comic book heroes we all knew as kids.

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