Phoenix Jones has something to be thankful about this Thanksgiving: City Attorney Pete Holmes says he will not file charges against the masked crusader though Holmes called Jones “no hero.”
As first reported by PubliCola, Jones—aka Ben Fodor—was arrested by Seattle police last month after he allegedly pepper sprayed a group of men and women near Pioneer Square.
Jones eventually unmasked himself following a court hearing on the case, revealing his identity as mixed martial arts fighter Ben Fodor. In the weeks after his arrest, Jones was fired from his job working with autistic children.
When PubliCola contacted Jones about Holmes’ decision Wednesday afternoon, Jones was elated to hear the news and asked whether we were joking.[pullquote]Jones says he’s now planning to “explore legal action” against the police department. “I’m going to have to seek some way to make myself whole again,” he says.[/pullquote]
“The judicial system did it’s job. I’m ecstatic I’m not being charged,” he said. “I lost my job, people call me by my real name on the street, criminals say they know where I live. it’s affected my life, and for something I didn’t do.”
Jones says he’s now planning to “explore legal action” against the police department. “I’m going to have to seek some way to make myself whole again,” he says.
Jones has maintained he was rushing to the aid of a group of people involved in a fight during the pepper spraying incident, and claims the officers who arrested him had a “vendetta”.
Vendetta or no, City Attorney Holmes says he’s dropping the case against Jones due to “proof problems.”
A statement from Holmes says Jones’ claim that he was coming to the aid of people at the scene of the incident complicates any potential charges, and notes that prosecutors were also unable to locate two men involved in the melee.
“It is unlikely a jury would find beyond a reasonable doubt that Fodor intentionally sprayed all of the people at the scene,” Holmes said.
In his statement, Holmes also took a parting shot at Jones: “Mr. Fodor is no hero, just a deeply misguided individual. He has been warned that his actions put himself in danger, and this latest episode demonstrates that innocent bystanders can also be harmed.”