Fabio Heuring was standing outside a Seattle nightclub with a friend on a Saturday night smoking cigarettes when a man bolting from a bouncer ran into them. Enraged the man ripped off his shirt in the middle of the street and prepared to give Heuring s buddy a beating.
Just then in swooped a bizarre sight: a self-proclaimed superhero in a black mask and matching muscle-suit. He doused the aggressor with pepper spray much to Heuring s shocked relief.
A couple hours later though using those tactics on another group of clubgoers would land the superhero - Benjamin Fodor better known as Phoenix Jones - in jail for investigation of assault sending pangs of anxiety through the small eccentric and mostly anonymous community of masked crime-fighters across the US.
The comic book-inspired patrolling of city streets by “real life super-heroes” has been getting more popular in recent years thanks to mainstream attention in movies like last year s “Kick-Ass” and the recent HBO documentary “Superheroes.”