Seattle Police defend handling of Phoenix Jones fistfight

Nov 13, 2012, 1:13 PM | Updated: 1:56 pm


The Seattle Police Department is defending the way officers handled a fistfight between Seattle superhero Phoenix Jones and a drunken man.

Jones had called 911 and tried to defuse the situation. It was only when the man threatened Phoenix and said he’d follow him home that Phoenix agreed to fight his aggressor.

“I’m not going to let someone follow me to my house,” said Phoenix in an interview with The Dori Monson Show. “I’m not letting some guy who’s violent with other people follow me home. It’s not going to happen. If it had just been about him calling me the N-word, I would have walked it off, like I told the cops. It was just, the cop had said he was going to let that guy follow me. No one is going to follow me.”

Jones argued he was legally justified to fight the guy based on a law allowing people to engage in “mutual combat.”

Tuesday on the Dori Monson Show, SPD Sgt. Sean Whitcomb explained why officers didn’t step in.

“I can guarantee you that if our officers would have gone in there to get that party moved along, and if they would have refused, there probably would have been some sort of forced response there,” Whitcomb said. “Then the conversation would be second guessing officers for being too heavy handed with people that have been drinking.”

Whitcomb said city ordinances prohibit any unwanted physical contact as assault, and fighting in public is unlawful if it creates substantial risk of injury to a bystander or damage to someone else’s property. In this case, they were on the sidewalk with little threat of harm to anyone else.

“I’m not going to second guess the officers who were out at the scene and who had a much broader perspective of everything else that wasn’t captured by that phone camera,” Whitcomb said.

Phoenix acknowledged to Dori he could have seriously injured or even killed the other guy, given his martial arts training. He is certain a jury would have exonerated him since the men agreed to fight. Whitcomb says police would have rather they just went their separate ways instead, but handled it in the way they deemed most appropriate given the situation.

“We do a really tough job. We have to make a lot of decisions based on limited information and sometimes we have to go with our gut,” Whitcomb said.

“On this particular case we showed up, we tried to keep the peace and maintain order which is our job. We encouraged people to go their separate ways, that didn’t happen. We looked at the different options available to us and the officers on the scene were very patient, very calm. They did their best to de-escalate the situation.”

Whitcomb said no charges were filed and officers didn’t file a police report because there was no crime. He pointed out the fight’s loser declined medical assistance following the fight.

“No victim, no suspect, no crime.”

Dori Monson on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM
  • listen to dori monsonTune in to KIRO Newsradio weekdays at 12 noon for The Dori Monson Show.

Dori Monson Show

Dori Monson

Menacing pitbull...
Dori Monson Show

Woman attacked by pit bulls near homeless camp: ‘These dogs have more rights than me’

With more than 12 vicious dog bites on her legs and “way too many” stitches to count, Amy Craven was released from the hospital this week following an 11-day stay to recover from an attack by two pit bull terriers near North Lake Union.
2 days ago
(Unsplash)...
Dori Monson Show

Dori: Former prison cellmate believes triple murderer is `not evil,’ should be freed

The 42-year-old case is back in the news after the Washington state Indeterminate Sentencing Review Board approved a summer release for Pauley.
3 days ago
(Unsplash)...
Dori Monson Show

Dori: Triple killer to be released unless Gov. Inslee overrules parole board

After 42 years behind bars, convicted killer Timothy Pauley, 63, has been approved for release by the Washington Indeterminate Sentencing Review Board.
4 days ago
Marysville School District...
Dori Monson Show

Dori: Parent permission for Marysville school clubs becomes `hot button’ over LGTBQ issue

The intent to the proposed policy change, Atchley said, is to assure that parents “have the ability to know where their children are at all times.”
8 days ago
OlyToys, Don Wolph's toy refurbishing business in Olympia....
Dori Monson Show

Dori: Olympia Toy-Restorer ordered by County to kick disabled friend off his property

Wolph told Dori’s listeners, Thurston County officials have told him he and his wife of 47 years must evict their friend because “she cannot live on my property for more than 30 days.”
9 days ago
Sound Transit employee records video of homeless individuals on light rail. (Jason Rantz/KTTH Radio...
Dori Monson Show

Dori: The Sound Transit rolling drug den

Onboard: a series of apparently homeless drug addicts, riding the train while smoking various drugs or passed out across the seats.
11 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
...

Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, fillthestadium.com) initiative provides […]
...

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]
...

COVID Vaccine is a Game-Changer for Keeping our Kids Healthy

Snohomish Health District SPONSORED — Cheers to the parents and guardians who keep their kids safe and healthy. The dad who cooks a meal with something green in it, even though he’s tired and drive-thru burgers were tempting. The mom who calms down the little one who loudly and resolutely does NOT want to brush […]
...
Experience Anacortes

Coastal Christmas Celebration Week in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.
Seattle Police defend handling of Phoenix Jones fistfight