The Seattle Police Department is trying to explain why its officers decided to stand by and allow a fight in the University District between so-called superhero Phoenix Jones and a man who wanted to take a shot at him.
Jones and his crew were on patrol Friday night when they spotted the man punching the window of a car and scaring the passengers of the vehicle, Jones says in a description on his YouTube channel. A video of the incident shows him stepping in to stop the assault and calling 911.
The suspect turns his anger to Jones, lobbing a barrage of racial slurs at him and challenging him to a fight. While police encouraged Jones to leave the area, he instead accepted the man’s challenge to fight on the sidewalk.
Several officers stood by as the pair squared off in what was termed by one of Jones’ accomplices as “mutual combat.” It didn’t last long. After slowing the man with a few kicks to the leg, Jones floored with him with a single punch.
Seattle Police are defending their officers for not interceding.
“This situation actually isn’t much different than a Friday or Saturday night outside nightclubs and you’ll have fights erupt” Sgt. Sean Whitcomb tells KING 5.
Whitcomb says a rarely used city law allows fighting as long as both people agree to it, no bystanders are hurt, and no property is damaged.
The incident is under review but unlikely to be pursued further.
“Officers inquired whether there was any medical attention required for the person who was punched in the face and that person declined,” said Whitcomb. “Officers then left the scene before they themselves were assaulted by that second party, not the super-hero party.”
Jones says the only reason he agreed to fight is because the other man threatened to come to his house.
“I take my family’s safety very seriously,” Jones wrote on his YouTube channel.
KIRO Radio’s Frank Shiers contributed to this report.
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