#2. Bank Robber vs. Crack Dealer
Harry G. Wilson was all about crack: He used crack, he sold crack, he had an official Crack Fan Club Decoder Ring (free with 40 crack-bags and proof of purchase). Hell, he's such a fan he's probably reading Cracked right now (hi, Harry!). So it comes as no surprise that, on January 23, 2008, Harry was out selling crack at his usual spot at the New Orleans hotel. One of his regulars, displaying the remarkable foresight emblematic of crack enthusiasts, went all the way down to his local drug dealer without any cash. So Harry, being the understanding crack-gentleman that he is, agreed to follow his client to the local bank so they could make a "withdrawal."
Harry did not see, or understand those suggestive quote marks.
The two men went to the Bank of Louisiana, where the client handed the teller a note demanding money. Harry was aghast. This was simply unacceptable; he may be a crackhead and drug pusher, but Harry G. Wilson is no criminal. He initially tried to warn the fellow off, but that didn't work, and so he resorted to the only option left to a gentleman: The flying dive tackle.
The robber escaped but, in the scuffle, dropped his wallet on the floor. The police would later use it to track him down and arrest him. So what happened to Harry? A tearful "thank you" from the shaken teller? A medal of valor? Key to the city maybe? Nope: He was immediately arrested on the scene. Oh, not for being an accomplice to the robbery attempt--everybody agreed he saved the day--but because they found crack on his person. Actually, "all up in his person" would be more appropriate: They found it in his pants, in his pockets, even his mouth. Harry was a veritable ghetto pinata--just absolutely stuffed to bursting with his beloved crack cocaine.
Harry protested the arrest, adamantly insisting to everyone in earshot that it was cool, those little rocks aren't C-4 or anything shady--it's just crack. And speaking of, would anybody like to buy some crack? Because man, it's great. Nothing to take the edge off an attempted robbery like good ol' crack. And why were these handcuffs still on him? It's real crack, not counterfeit or anything. What's the deal here?
And now, it's time for the big boys. After all, ridiculous crime intervention isn't just for the small-timers...
#1. The 70s Paris Hilton vs. President of the United States of America
Martha Mitchell's husband, John Mitchell, was the Attorney General during the Nixon administration. With her elite status and time on her hands, she became a beloved socialite, most well known for her parties and airheaded, ill-conceived, off-the-cuff comments. She was firmly in the Paris Hilton mold and as such, the press lapped up her every word.
But in 1971, John Mitchell resigned his position to head the newly formed Committee to Re-Elect the President, also known by the unfortunate acronym, CReeP. Hey, say what you want about the Nixon administration; they were pretty upfront about their cartoonish villainy.
And the rest, well, that's common knowledge...
But for the benefit of those of us who attended public school: Five men were arrested in a burglary attempt at the Democratic National Convention headquarters at the Watergate hotel. They had wiretapping equipment on them, and the reason for the break-in appeared obvious, but no one was talking. An examination of the burglar's bank accounts led to CreeP, who found it hard to believably protest their innocence when their whole organization sounds like a villain from Captain Planet.
Nixon was this close to getting away with the whole thing (by letting the blame fall on Mitchell) when Martha started making phone calls, spilling the beans to anybody who would listen. Eventually, her persistence would lead two Washington Post reporters, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, to check out her allegations, eventually leading to Nixon's impeachment.
And that's the story of how the 1970s equivalent of Paris Hilton brought down the President of the Entire Goddamn United States of America.
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For more folks who stepped up when needed, check out 5 Unknown Schmucks Who Turned Into Superheroes in the Clutch. Or learn about some superheroes we prefer not to exist, in The 6 Most Baffling Superheroes from Around the World.
And stop by Linkstorm (Updated 08.02.10) to see Cody wearing his Superman costume.