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Seattle 'Superhero' Phoenix Jones Loses His Day Job

Getting arrested for using pepper spray on a group of people has at least temporarily cost self-proclaimed Seattle superhero Phoenix Jones his day job helping autistic children.

Benjamin Fodor (Jones' real name) "has worked with five developmentally disabled autistic children — who ranged in age from four to 18 years old — for the last five years at their homes and state care facilities, going shopping with them, teaching them to balance checkbooks, and going for walks," Seattle's Publicola.com newssite reports.

But after his Oct. 9 arrest following an incident in which Jones/Fodor says he was trying to break up a fight, Washington State's Department of Social and Health Services "alerted his employer about the case," SeattlePI.com says. The agency "asked that he not be around vulnerable children while the case was pending," the website adds.

Jones/Fodor, 23, has yet to be charged with a crime. If the case is dropped or he is not convicted, he could get his job back, Social and Health Services spokeswoman Sherry Hill, told SeattlePI.

Jones/Fodor, who's into mixed martial arts, tells Publicola he may take on some bouts for money. And, the website says, he "plans to start fighting crime in the daytime, in addition to his night patrols around Seattle."

Back in March, Jones and another "real-life superhero," DC's Guardian, talked with Tell Me More's Michel Martin about why they do what they do. His superhero exploits began after his car was broken into

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.