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In a world where horrible things often happen to good people, it's nice to hear those occasional stories about somebody who went above and beyond the call of duty to help someone in need. And then sometimes they get punished for it, because we're still living in that world, and sometimes karma just decides to take a holiday and leaves us to sort ourselves out.

5Homeowners Arrested for Reporting a Meth Lab

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The Keeleys were the owners of a house that they rented out until August 2012, when they realized that their tenants were running a meth lab, which wasn't exactly specified on the lease. The tenants were arrested, and the police cleared out the rental home.

But when the Keeleys returned to the home in order to fix it up for the next tenants (whom they figured would probably not enjoy living in a meth lab), they discovered that someone had broken back into the house, removed a wall mirror, and stuffed eight more bags of meth into the wall cavity.

Via Wsbtv.com
Well, let's not jump to conclusions. It's widely known that meth is a perfect insulator.

Michael Keeley promptly called 911 and left the premises, as he figured the perpetrator could still be lurking around. When the homeowners returned, they found the police already there. Keeley calmly walked them through what he had found when he came into the house and explained how the former tenants were, you know, arrested already for possession of meth, and that this was probably related. Because that is the first and likely the only thing a reasonable person would assume.

The Backlash:

The police in this case had a different idea about the most likely culprits. The Keeleys were arrested on the spot, because breaking into your own home, planting a bunch of meth inside, and then calling the cops on yourself sounds suspiciously like the twisted logic of some middle-class drug lords all hopped up on meth. As one of the arresting officers said to Michael's face, "We know no one broke into your house. You did it yourself."

George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images
"This is Officer Chad Fuckstick. I'm not sure what to do, so I'm just going to arrest everyone."

The police separated the Keeleys and interrogated them in different rooms. Meanwhile, their young son was left outside in the car crying for his parents, as any normal toddler might do. As his mom tried to comfort the child, a police officer told them to get someone to take care of him or they would call child services to take him away.

The Keeleys wound up being thrown in jail for several days before they were able to post bond, leaving their child with a close relative. The charges were later dropped, with the judge presumably asking the police, "What are you, stupid?"

Via Wsbtv.com
"That'll be $5,000, please. No, not together -- each."

4The Lifeguard Who Lost His Job for Saving a Drowning Man

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The job description for a lifeguard isn't that complicated. It's right there in the name (even if it is a little vague). So when lifeguards see somebody drowning, they don't usually stop to flip open the rule book to figure out what the protocol is in this situation. Florida lifeguard Tomas Lopez understood his duty very well, which is why, when he spotted a man drowning in the summer of 2012 while on duty, he did exactly what anyone would expect a lifeguard to do and saved the guy's life.

Tomas Lopez via Cbsnews.com
Way to preserve human life, jerkface.

The Backlash:

Lopez forgot to make sure the man was drowning in an acceptable drowning zone, because after he completed his deed for the day, his employer informed him that he was fired. The victim had been swimming in the "swim at your own risk" section of the beach, and when they put that sign up, they really fucking meant it. Lopez lost his job for rescuing somebody who wasn't drowning within his allocated rescue zone, and two more lifeguards were fired for defending Lopez's actions.

Naturally, Lopez and just about everyone else in the world disagreed with that decision, and several other lifeguards quit in protest.

Hemera Technologies/Photos.com
Causing 71 people to sink to their watery graves.

If Jeff Ellis Management had a PR division, they were probably ripping their hair out at this point over the company's strict adherence to the "let 'em die" policy of lifeguarding. Needless to say, it wasn't long before they came to their senses and reversed their stance on the matter, admitting they had been "hasty" in their original decision to, you know, fire a lifeguard for rescuing someone. The response of the former employees at being offered their jobs back involved one artfully extended middle finger.

3A Medical Worker Is Charged for Giving a Cold Man a Blanket

Photos.com

Jeff Gaglio was a medic working in the city of Detroit, Michigan. Serving with the fire department, he was called to a house fire, where he found a house burning down and its elderly resident standing outside in nothing but his underwear in the freezing cold night.

So Gaglio did the sensible thing: He gave the man a blanket to keep himself warm without having to resort to using the flaming wreckage of his meager possessions. It was a simple act of charity that probably went a long way for that man who just lost everything.

Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images
"You know, if anything, you'd think you'd be hot right now."

The Backlash:

But not for Gaglio, who found himself brought up on charges several weeks later for giving the blanket away. See, it wasn't his blanket he brought from home -- it was a work blanket, belonging to the city. And apparently Detroit is so strapped for cash that they can't give away one blanket to an old man without making sure somebody pays for that shit. Did we mention that the blanket he gave away was actually originally donated? Because it totally was.

Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images
"Thanks for the free blanket ... SUCKERS!"

Anyway, the Detroit EMT services will probably never run short of blankets ever again: After news of the unfair treatment of Gaglio broke out, people from around the world decided to send in their own blankets as a replacement. No word on whether Detroit will allow those blankets to be given away either. Meanwhile, Gaglio still awaits his punishment from the world's most frugal bureaucrat.

2A Bus Driver Is Fired for Rescuing Cops

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George Daw is a school bus driver in Long Island, New York. On August 1, 2011, a severe thunderstorm blew in, and while most drivers weren't keen on braving the weather, Daw had teenagers he needed to get home, and he took his bus driving job very, very seriously. So seriously that, when he drove past a police car that was stranded and sinking beneath the waves, he rescued the officers like some kind of bus driving Bruce Willis and drove them back to their precinct.

The Backlash:

Daw was then promptly fired for giving some drowning officers a free ride.

Via Theblaze.com
This pretty awesome dude. Cracked loves you, George.

Apparently, the Educational Bus Company that employed Daw takes bus driving very seriously as well. So much so that their ruling was that you can't just deviate from your route to pick up a bunch of unscheduled passengers. Not even if they're police officers. Not even if they're police officers trapped in a sinking car in the middle of a hailstorm.

The statement released by the company simply noted that it's against company policy to pick up unscheduled passengers, in the name of the children's safety. And that's fair enough -- we're sure that there's some kind of predatory animal out there that is able to disguise itself as three drowning police officers. We probably ran that one in an article just last week.

After some bad PR, the bus company did eventually give Daw his job back, with a note of praise for his rescue of three police officers, as well as a stern warning never to do it again ever.

Via Theblaze.com
Then they promptly shrunk his bus and cackled maniacally.

1A Security Guard Who Thwarts a Terrorist Attack Is Labeled a Terrorist

Iaroslav Neliubov/Photos.com

Richard Jewell was an ordinary security guard on duty at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics when, completely out of the blue, some serious Die Hard shit started to go down. In the middle of the Olympic festivities, Jewell noticed an unattended backpack beneath a park bench. Of course, an unattended backpack will often just contain the lunch of some absent-minded professor. This was not one of those times.

Discovering that the backpack contained three fully active pipe bombs set to go off, Jewell was thrust into the kind of situation that is a bit above a security guard's pay grade. But rather than collapse into a quivering, hysterical mess, Jewell calmly took the lead in alerting authorities and evacuating the area without the kind of organ-trampling panic that usually accompanies the word "bomb."

Via Nytimes.com
Here he is, not screaming like a 3-year-old, as we most certainly would have done.

The explosive detonated as the area was being cleared, and sadly did kill one person and injure a bunch of others, but Jewell was hailed a hero for ensuring that it didn't wind up one of those incidents that is solemnly alluded to afterward simply by the date on which it occurred.

The Backlash:

That is, until he was named the lead suspect for having planted the bomb.

Via Foxnews.com
And here he is with a much justified "You have got to be fucking kidding me" look on his non-terrorist face.

Apparently, the FBI figured that the prospect of becoming a hero for saving thousands of people from a bomb threat is a pretty good motive for planting a bomb in the first place. On that logic, they announced that Jewell was under investigation, and the media (paying little mind to that "innocent until proven guilty" malarkey) took it from there.

News coverage of the FBI's investigation quickly turned into a kind of perverse reality TV show, broadcasting live as the FBI searched Jewell's apartment while keeping him under 24-hour surveillance. They even kept tabs on him as he did his grocery shopping -- you know, in case he walked out with six bags of fertilizer and some fuses. Jewell couldn't even escape late night television, as he found himself on the butt end of Jay Leno's jokes.

Kevin Winter/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Of course, we use the term "jokes" very, very loosely.

Eventually, the feds were forced to admit that they didn't have anything on him. That didn't help Jewell, who had already lost his job and suffered a crucifixion in the media. There was no big moment of vindication for him, and he never got the hero status he deserved.

It was 10 years before someone finally stepped up to thank Jewell ... even after they caught the real guy.



Xavier Jackson has a Facebook page and an email at XavierJacksonCracked@gmail.com. He would also like to personally thank David G. and Maegan V. for their assistance with entries for this article.



And now for something totally different: 6 True Stories That Will Restore Your Faith in Humanity and 5 Inspiring True Stories For Anyone Feeling Cynical Today.

By the way, did you know that your local mini-mart does more than serve orange-powdered cheesy snacks? Check out 6 Ways Convenience Stores Have Changed the World in our Food for Thought hub!

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