Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Time to Evolve

I wanna thank everyone who has donated so far. We are at $3,300 and a third of the way to reaching the goal. I’m taking some time out to address my message as Phoenix Jones.  It’s my hope that the stories of what I do inspire people to look out for each other. That people who see someone being victimized by crime will do whatever they can to help. That people will consider the desperate situation of the homeless and look at them with a little more compassion. I hope that I can somehow symbolize these things and inspire a little bit of change in our communities.

When I set out I wanted to maintain a secret identity and went through a ton of work to do so. I was able to pretty much keep my identity secret for almost two years.  Maintaining a secret identity means you have to rely completely on yourself and your loved ones. So I knew to get started I needed an outfit, something that was intimidating, easy to move in and hide my face. So given my budget (about 20 bucks) I went to the store and bought a pair of longjohns. I looked in my closet and found my MMA shorts, gloves, and a pair of shoes I didn’t plan to wear again and I was off.

The first couple of weeks I did not really find any crime. I felt Seattle was pretty safe.  So I decided the one thing I see a lot of is homelessness and a lack of consideration for their plight. I had found a mission. To get supplies I started by going to different stores asking if on the day things were going to expire I could take them to the homeless population on the streets. I got laughed out of most of the stores I went to and treated like a crazy person. I started gathering money from my friends and my job and buying food myself. I was pretty good at this but there was always someone I did not reach or I ran out of food while I still had a line of people asking. A couple of weeks later I was on a routine hand out when I came across a man bleeding and crying. I asked what was wrong and he yelled at me to get lost. I said let me call an ambulance because you’re really hurt. He said no you have done enough, the cereal bar you gave me the other day got me mugged. I found out that when I would pass out food if there wasn't enough the homeless people would steal from each other by any means necessary. I remember the rage I felt, the anger seemed uncontrollable but a lesson was learned. I cannot hope to help people by just giving them food, I had to stop the predators that prey on these people. For the next couple of nights I did just that. I stayed under the I5 overpass in a sleeping bag ready to stop injustice. On the third night at about 2 am I heard a scream. I remember being scared, startled and unnerved but no one else moved a muscle. The screams became increasingly loud as I made my way to where the attack was happening. I saw a man with a ponytail beating a man clutching onto a water bottle and a small pizza box. I intervened and broke up the fight but as I did I saw blood on the sleeping bag. The man with the pizza had been stabbed repeatedly on his hands and possibly other places by his attacker. I followed the attacker into the darkness and that’s when I felt it.  Right on my back it was the most disgusting violating experience. The lower right side of my back felt cold and I could taste metal. It was like my body knew I was in serious trouble. I turned around and subdued the attacker and managed to call 911 too get an ambulance for the victim. I laid next to the attacker now zip cuffed to a pipe and started to cry, not from pain but from fear and exhaustion. By the time the police had arrived I was somewhat together. I explained the situation to the cops and filed a statement for their police report.

I needed about two weeks to heal and I knew I was going to need a better suit. I got a loan (cosigned by my mom), which was a lot harder than I thought. I bought the best bulletproofing, knifeproofing boots, blunt trauma riot gear and the now famous xtremedesignfx rubber suit. I told Lance from extreme design what I was planning to do and he made my suit with a special rubber and wire mix to add protection.  Within two months of fighting crime in this suit I was all over the news, headlines ranged from EXTREMELY DERRANGED COSPLAYER ATTACKS CRIME to SUPERMAN EXISTS but the biggest win was when I got a call from a store I had previously given my number to when I was in spandex. They said they had 55 pounds of food for me if I was interested.

I filled my car and the trunk with food. When all was said and done not one person under the bridge was missed and the leftovers were donated to The Union Gospel Mission. I learned two things; the first was that people need extreme examples to shake them out of apathy. I could not be that symbol in my old spandex costume because no one would take me seriously.  Second, inspiration comes in many forms and although I did not care about the way my suit looked, it turned out the people did. I knew my mission was to stop crime while inspiring others to do the same. I hope the story of this new suit will reach and inspire a completely new group of people as well as keep me protected and I don’t think you can put a price on that.

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