The Origin of Phoenix Jones, Seattle’s Real-Life Superhero

By day, he is a professional mixed martial arts fighter, with multiple black belts and a winning record. By night, he is Seattle’s own neighborhood crime fighter, operating under the costumed alias Phoenix Jones.

Phoenix recently shared his origin story, methods and motivations with NPR’s Michel Martin…

So I said “call 911, I need help.” And he answered, “I can’t…it’ll ruin my YouTube clip.”

Michel Martin: I think people would like to know how this got started…

Phoenix Jones: …I had a son, and we were playing at Wild Waves. As we leave, my son falls in this broken glass right by my car…someone had broken the window. His knee is cut open and he’s bleeding really badly. I’m trying to stop the bleeding and I see a guy run across the street with a camera phone. I’m thinking, “Perfect, he’ll call the cops.”

So I said “call 911, I need help.” And he answered, “I can’t…it’ll ruin my YouTube clip.”

Michel Martin: But how did you go from that…to wearing a costume and deciding you’re going to do patrols?

Phoenix Jones: I know that sounds like a large leap… What happened is, I’m cleaning the glass out of my car, and I found a rock inside a mask, that they used to smash my window. I left the mask in my glove box.

A couple weeks later, I’m at a bar doing what I normally do–driving people to the bar, dropping them off and waiting for them–and a friend of mine gets assaulted outside the bar. And there’s about seventy people watching. The guy who did it had a whole lot of friends there, and I didn’t want to just walk up and say “Hey, you shouldn’t do that,” because I knew people would see my face. I opened up my glove box to get my phone and call 911, and I saw the mask.

I put on the mask and made a commotion. The police showed up, and they were able to arrest him. And that is how Phoenix Jones was born.

Listen to the full interview at NPR’s Tell Me More.


  1. It’s an interesting idea, but in practice, I wonder, if he does fight people on the streets, how long before the law cracks down on him for something or another. Superhero movies are fun, but in real life I’d bet the complexities legally and otherwise are stricter than the movies.

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