Posted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 1:54 am Post subject: Being a Superhero isn't easy
Seattle "superhero" charged with pepper-spray assault
Nicole Neroulias Reuters
October 11, 2011
Self-proclaimed Seattle superhero Phoenix Jones, a vigilante crime fighter, is due in court on Thursday to face charges that he assaulted a group of people with pepper spray outside a nightclub. The costumed defendant, whose real name is Benjamin John Francis Fodor, 23, has become something of a local celebrity since he began patrolling downtown Seattle streets nearly a year ago to break up fights and alert police to petty crimes in progress, such as drunken driving and car burglaries.
Disguised by a hooded mask and wearing a molded black-and-yellow suit of body armor, Fodor carries pepper spray, a Taser stun gun and a cell phone as he makes his late-night rounds. He also attends charity events on request. Fodor has been joined on some exploits by any number of fellow freelance crime fighters who assume such alter egos as No Name and Thorn in a collective that bills itself as the "Rain City Superheroes Movement." His "secret identity" had remained unknown to the public, however, until media reports about his arrest this week exposed the real name of the man behind the mask.
Fodor was accused of going too far when he encountered a group of men and women outside a club in the early hours of Sunday morning. According to a police report, the group were walking to their car, "dancing and having a good time," when Fodor "came up from behind and pepper-sprayed the group." Two men in the group chased Fodor, and police called to the scene "separated the involved parties," the report said. Fodor was booked into the King County Jail on four counts of assault and was released on $3,800 bail on Sunday afternoon.
Fodor has since sent out Twitter messages saying he was back on patrol and proclaiming himself innocent of wrongdoing. "I WOULD NEVER ASSAULT OR HURT ANOTHER PERSON IF THEY WERE NOT CAUSING HARM TO ANOTHER HUMAN BEING," he wrote in one tweet.
Thirteen minutes of shaky video footage taken by supporters to document Sunday's incident (http://vimeo.com/30307440), and posted online, shows Fodor being alerted to a "huge fight," then rushing on foot to the scene yelling, "call 911." He wades into a group of people with a can of pepper spray as they scatter, yelling and cursing. Pandemonium ensues with several individuals chasing after Fodor and a masked sidekick. One woman is seen repeatedly beating Fodor with her shoes and screaming at him in the street before police finally arrive. Fodor was charged with four counts of misdemeanor assault and faces up to a year in jail and a $5,000 fine if convicted. A court hearing was set for Thursday.
Shotgun-wielding superhero unmasked, charged with felonious assault for run-in with Burton motorcyclist
April 27, 2012
FLINT, MI -- A self-appointed superhero who goes by the name "Bee Sting" was unmasked when he was arraigned on charges Friday stemming from a run in he had with a Burton motorcyclist. Adam Thomas Besso, 36, of Sterling Heights was arraigned by Genesee District Judge Larry J. Stecco on Friday for assault with a dangerous weapon and wearing body armor during a commission of a violent crime.
Besso was arrested Thursday in Burton after he pulled a shotgun on a man at Twin Meadows Mobile Home Park during a dispute over a loud motorcycle. Police said the shotgun went off during the confrontation, hitting a vacant mobile home. An $80,000 bond was set for Besso and he is scheduled for a preliminary exam May 9.
Besso belongs to a group of statewide costumed activists called Michigan Protectors. During a previous interview, he claimed he didn't carry weapons, but had tools for self-defense. Michigan Protectors have chapters all over the state, including Detroit, Ann Arbor, Lansing, Grand Rapids and the tri-cities. A person claiming to be the leader of Michigan Protectors posted on MLive that steps are being taken to remove Besso from their group.
Meet Wheel Clamp Man who frees clamped motorists with an angle grinder (and fake moustache)
28 August 2012
This is the modern-day superhero saving the world by rescuing illegally parked motorists from unwelcome fines. The caped crusader - who wears a green Lycra costume, red mask and stick-on moustache - zooms around Perth, Australia, swooping on clamped cars to help drivers to escape a $135 fine.
'Wheel Clamp Man', who removes the clamps with a battery-powered angle grinder, claims he is taking an 'ethical stance' after having a bad experience as his workaday alter-ego. He does his good deeds for free, asking only for a donation to a homeless charity - but police see him as a masked menace and want the public to report him. 'He is committing the offence of criminal damage and if people have any info, they should contact Crime Stoppers and we will deal with him,' a police spokesman told Perth's Sunday Times.
The mystery figure responded: 'I'm taking an ethical stance. I'm helping people out. I don't feel I'm damaging property. I got clamped myself. I went to a car park, pulled in, couldn't see any signs, and I must have walked less than 100m and I was clamped. It was a con because they were watching.' He vowed to keep fighting 'greedy' councils and wheel clampers and helping innocent people who don't deserve their fines.
The superhero, a hilarious parody of popular comic strips, wears the disguise to avoid being caught on CCTV and releases cars within a heart-racing minute.
'He's been watching too many films' crime fighting ninja falls foul of law
December 14, 2012
In his mind, Tanis Baker was a vigilante ninja striking fear into criminals like his favourite superheroes. In reality, the 21 year-old's efforts at fighting crime were more comic farce than comic book. Patrolling his neighbourhood dressed in a black martial arts costume and balaclava, it was he who ended up on the wrong side of the law. The self-styled "eyes and ears" of right-thinking people was arrested for possession of a wooden sword.
On Monday, the mild-mannered comic book fan told a court that he turned to crime-fighting after being mugged by a local gang and bullied at school. Frustrated that his assailants got away, he made himself a costume complete with body armour and armed himself with smoke bombs and a home-made Samurai sword. In an imitation of the film Kick-Ass, he then went out looking for troublemakers in Newport, South Wales.
The vigilante, who by day was a barman at a snooker hall, would crouch in the darkness of a park ready to pounce. Locals said his heroic deeds included taking alcohol off under-age drinkers and "smoking out" any loitering gangs using smoke grenades.
James Higgins, 17, who went to school with Baker, said he had seen him on the roof of Ringland library. "The figure leapt from the building and landed on the sports field at the back," he said. "He was running across it and doing roly polys. He's been watching too many films."
Baker's crime-fighting days were cut short in September when he was seen by a policeman. Believing he was carrying a real Samurai sword, the officer called for back-up and the police helicopter and a dog handler were scrambled. Baker fled into Beechwood park and hid in bushes near a children's play area. He was arrested and led officers to a spot where he had hidden two rucksacks, one containing clothes and the other seven smoke grenades. He told officers he was a "vigilante in a costume" and the "eyes and ears" of the police on the streets. The probation officer who assessed him said Baker was a fan of American comic book superheroes. His report said: "He seems to get confused between fantasy and reality and sometimes had trouble distinguishing between what was in comic books and what was real life."
Louise Warren, defending, said: "Baker was bullied for many years and struggled growing up in his neighbourhood. He was attacked by a gang of youths while out with his sister a year ago, but police were unable to find the offenders. Since then Baker has wanted to help the police to protect society." Baker was asked what he would do if he encountered a real crime and said he had not thought that far ahead.
Baker was given a 12-month supervision order and told to carry out 60 hours' unpaid work. While his crime-fighting days may be over, residents claimed he had two sidekicks, the Alway Assassin and the St Julians Saboteur.
Batman hands over wanted man to police then disappears
4th Mar 2013
The citizens of Bradford can rest a little easier today, safe in the knowledge that Batman is roaming the mean streets of the West Yorkshire city and handing out justice. Or, at least, someone who is dressed as the Caped Crusader is.
A man is due in court charged with handling stolen goods after the unknown vigilante who was wearing the traditional superhero mask, body armour and cape walked into a local police station and handed him over.
But the identity of the self-styled hero remains unknown and the police have put out CCTV images in the hope of tracking him down. The person who brought the wanted man into the station was dressed in a full batman outfit. His identity, however, remains unknown, a West Yorkshire Police spokesman said.
The incident happened at the city centre Trafalgar House station on February 25th. A man is now due to appear at appear at Bradford magistrates court on March 8th.
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