9 Acts of Vigilantism Straight Out of a Comic Book

Forget about the Justice League or the X-Men: If the awesome people in this article joined together into a supergroup, they could kick more ass than every comic book superhero team combined -- mostly because these guys have the advantage of actually existing.

#9. If Judge Dredd Was Real (and an Actual Judge)

Paul Reid was standing in a British court, charged with sexual assault, when he noticed that his cuffs were a little loose. Instead of complaining to the guard and demanding a new pair, Reid sat patiently and waited for his chance to escape.

Guys like that give sex offenders a bad name.

As soon as people started leaving at the end of the hearing, the now-convicted offender ditched his handcuffs, jumped onto the clerk's bench and ran toward the judge's door. What he expected to find on the other side was freedom. What he got was the most epic and unexpected beat-down ever.

The one on the left leads to freedom; the other leads to a special judge toilet.

What Happened Next:

Most judges watching this exact same scenario would probably figure, "eh, we're in a court house -- someone's gonna catch him eventually," and go back to the secret crossword puzzle they all keep under the stand. Not Douglas Moore, the one presiding over this case. Choosing to administer justice personally, Judge Moore leaped down from his seat and grabbed the fleeing criminal by the throat.

Via belfasttelegraph.co.uk
Presumably while shouting "I AM THE LAW!"

Intent on escaping (and pissing himself at least a little), the 34-year-old criminal pushed the 60-year-old judge out of the way and ran down a hallway. Moore wouldn't have it: Undeterred, he got up, chased after the sprinting criminal and rugby-tackled him to the floor seconds before he got away. It's like Moore momentarily forgot he wasn't living in a Judge Dredd comic, where physically subduing criminals in the most violent way possible would be part of his job description.

In England, this is a mandatory part of judge training.

And if you think there isn't a big chance Reid would have gotten very far: The guy had pulled the exact same stunt two years earlier and successfully escaped a court building. Apparently, in Britain the only way to make up for shoddy handcuffs and ineffective guards is having the most badass judges ever.

"I'm here to rugby-tackle crime."

So, to everyone who saw Stallone's Judge Dredd and thought, Hell, even a middle-aged British judge could do a better job -- turns out we were all right.

#8. British Jeweler Turns Out to be Highlander

Two masked men barge into a jewelry store, armed with a samurai sword and an ax. What the robbers never expected is that the lone owner of the store, perhaps assuming that a situation so outrageous could only be a dream, would display such massive balls that they would be fleeing in terror less than 50 seconds later.

"Would you like these bagged, or shoved up your colon?"

What Happened Next:

As the security footage reveals, the sword-wielding robber charged into the store and raised his weapon at John Bradley, a 40-year-old jeweler in Yorkshire, England. Bradley never gave him the chance to strike at him, though: Knocking aside his own countertop, he fearlessly charged at the surprised attacker.

"Fear me, dammit! I have a sword!"

Bradley then proceeded to grab the sword with his bare hands and struggle for it, causing himself some pretty deep cuts (which he probably felt about two weeks later, when the adrenaline rush died down). The ax man tried to get involved -- but Bradley quickly shoved him aside and then finally got ahold of the sword.

Now armed, Bradley stabbed at the robbers, quickly driving them out of the store. Luckily for them, a getaway car was waiting outside. They got away empty-handed, possibly crying and hugging each other all the way home.


It's like a scene straight out of Highlander: The Series, in which the immortal Duncan MacLeod worked as the owner of an antique store when he wasn't busy fighting people with swords. The difference is that this guy actually looks like a middle-aged shop owner, as opposed to the lead character in a cheap romance novel.

So if you're surprised that Bradley mounted such a swift and brutal defense in a situation in which most other people would have simply stood there soiling their pants, consider the fact that he was never in any real danger, being (in all likelihood) a powerful immortal from ancient Scotland.

#7. Lady Punches Shark in the Face

Paddy Trumbell was a 60-year-old grandmother who went snorkeling in Queensland, Australia, one day and was bitten by a shark. If this were a comic book, someone like Aquaman would show up right now and save the lady with his telepathic powers or some weak sauce like that. What happened in real life is a thousand times more awesome.

What Happened Next:

Trumbell's first thought, according to the woman herself, was "This shark's not going to get the better of me." Bear in mind that we're talking about a 5-foot-long bronze whaler shark that had already taken two chunks out of her legs and buttocks before she knew it.

Our first thought in that scenario would have been something like "AAAAIIIIIIEEEEEEE!!!!!"

So what did the woman do? She punched the shark in the face until it went away. She later said, "The shark, we had a bit of a tug of war, and I know part of my body was ripped off at that time," but she kept punching and kicking it relentlessly until it couldn't stand the abuse and swam away. This is exactly what we imagine Aquaman being like if he didn't wear a ridiculous costume, was a complete badass and also a 60-year-old lady.

And this guy is the exact opposite of that image.

When the woman was rescued by a boat, they were horrified to see her condition -- she had lost about 40 percent of her blood and three chunks of her body. To the amazement of doctors and family, she managed to pull through and even joked about how awesome her ass would look once the surgeons got through with it.

Via 3news.co.nz
"Thinking about my ass got me through. I mean, uh, grandchildren."

We're hoping the doctors also took the opportunity to rebuild her body with bionic enhancements, afterward sending her off to fight crime as Shark Lady.

#6. Bicycle-Man

Picture this: You're riding your bicycle down the street and you see two men on a motor-scooter speeding in your direction, having just mugged a woman. What do you do? Heck, what can you do? Short of throwing the bicycle at the robbers, there's no way you could stop a motor vehicle going at full speed, right?

"Nothing short of a curb can stop them now!"

What Happened Next:

Right, so that's exactly what this guy in China did:

The guy gets off the bike, picks it up and, without missing a beat, throws it at the unsuspecting robbers just as they're going past him ...

Via andrewh23

Via andrewh23

... causing the scooter and its passengers to crash down onto the pavement. The only thing we don't understand is why they didn't also explode at that moment.

Via andrewh23
"WTF? Where's the massive ball of fire?"

But the best thing about that video has to be the way the guy casually walks toward the robbers to retrieve his bicycle, like it ain't no thing.

Via andrewh23
"Dum de dum ... Excuse me, have you seen my bike?"

He walks with the confidence of a man who has done this before, so the logical conclusion is that he's actually Bicycle-Man, a superhero with the mutant power of hurling bikes at people. Let's just be thankful that he's chosen to use it for good.

#5. Sprinting Grandma Freaks Out Purse-Snatcher

Jean Hirst, a 72-year-old retired teacher from Derbyshire, England (what is it with old British people?), pulled over her car to ask some teens for directions to the theater. The three girls politely offered to ride with her to make sure she got to her destination all right -- and by "all right" we mean "minus her purse."

Community service, chav-style.

What Happened Next:

Once they arrived at the theater, one of the teens asked Hirst for 20 pence (about 30 cents), possibly not realizing that her slightly more enterprising friend had already taken all of the old woman's money, plus the purse containing it. After what we imagine must have been a pretty awkward instant, the teen dashed out of the car and ran down the street.

The 15-year-old had covered around 200 feet when she looked back over her shoulder ... and saw this face immediately behind her:

Via dailymail.co.uk

In about 15 seconds, Hirst got out of the car, sprinted like a T-1000 and caught up to the purse-snatcher. Bear in mind that the kid had a good head start of around, oh, 57 years. Says Hirst: "The look on her face was one of sheer amazement and she just threw my bag aside."

Turns out Hirst had been a national sprinting champion -- at age 17. She didn't mention how she kept in shape after almost six decades, but we suspect it involved going out at night and chasing after criminals.

Via thesun.co.uk
They had to photograph her with special cameras, as she was invisible to the naked eye.

When Hirst returned to the car, the two other girls were still there, probably recovering from the sonic boom the old lady caused when she took off. They apologized for their friend's stupidity, and Hirst even gave them an end-of-the-episode lesson about knowing how to choose their friends more carefully.

Via dailymail.co.uk
"And knowing is half the battle," she said, a rainbow materializing behind her.

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