#3. Two Boys on Bikes Rescue a Kidnapped Girl
In July of 2013, 5-year-old Jocelyn Rojas was abducted by a man who lured her from her yard and into his vehicle by offering her ice cream, because little kids still fall for the oldest tricks in the book. Upon noticing her disappearance, Jocelyn's mother frantically called the police, who began scouring the area for the youngster, to no avail.
At the same time, Temar Boggs, 15, and his unnamed vigilante friend, either overcome with a sense of duty to save the little girl or determined to show everyone what people really will do for a Klondike Bar, switched into full-on Goonies mode, taking off on their bicycles with an unbending resolution to win the Tour de Molester.
Kristy Ewing/iStock/Getty Images
"Dude, wait up, let me queue my Cyndi Lauper playlist."
Roughly a half-mile away from her home, the boys spotted Jocelyn in the back of a sedan. The two teens chased the suspect's car on their bicycles for 15 exhilarating minutes as he swerved throughout the neighborhood, his maroon shitbox clearly outmaneuvered by the teens' fewer-wheeled transports. Realizing that he was being tailed by a pair of Joseph Gordon-Levitts from Premium Rush, the abductor stopped at the bottom of a hill, booted Jocelyn out, and sped off.
Boggs and his friend took a shaken but otherwise unharmed Jocelyn back to her distressed family, who lined up to deliver the teens' multimillion-dollar reward, to be entirely paid out in the form of extended bear hugs.
Sadly, the IRS took half for taxes.
Adding a down note to the tune of this story's happy ending, the suspect got away. He was described as a white male between the ages of 50 and 70, wearing green shoes, green pants, and a red-and-white-striped shirt. So apparently the residents of Lancaster have themselves a disgruntled Christmas elf on their hands.
#2. Sharpshooting Bystander Lands the Impossible Shot
Crazy person Charles Ronald Conner wound up in an armed standoff with police over the type of thing most of us just let slide: When a neighbor's dog took a dump in his yard, he shot the dog and its two owners. There was no reason to stop the rampage there, so when police sergeant Steven Means reported to the scene, he was instantly greeted with some good ol' Texas hospitality in the form of Conner's homemade bullet chili.
The secret ingredient is lead.
Means immediately returned fire with his AR-15, but was severely out-positioned by Conner, who had taken cover behind a nearby tree. And tree trunks, in case you weren't aware, make for much better cover than the sheet metal of your average police cruiser.
Things were looking grim until Vic Stacy, a resident of the same Peach House RV Park where the shooter and his victims lived, saw that Means was in serious danger of becoming eligible for a posthumous medal for this soon-to-be-fatal shootout. Stacy had himself a handgun and a perfect side view of the gunman, but he also had one major problem: He was 165 yards away. Just in case a steady diet of cop shows and action blockbusters has tainted your understanding of the range and accuracy of your average handgun, here's some context for you: A standard target at one of those indoor shooting ranges usually hangs somewhere south of 25 yards away. So this was that times seven.
Or 3.4 Hail Fluties.
Another way to put it is that making an accurate shot at a bad guy standing over 150 yards away with a pistol is only a smidge more likely than the bad guy getting unexpectedly devoured by a roving pack of rabid chupacabras. As a matter of fact, Stacy wasn't sure that his bullet could even hold up at that distance. But not being one to let little things like odds and the laws of physics stand in the way of justice, Stacy took aim, squeezed off a single shot ... and landed it directly in Conner's thigh.
As the gunman turned and fired on him, his shots landing around Stacy's feet and peppering his legs with gravel, Stacy showed him that the thigh wound was just a warning and proceeded to flip physics the bird three more times. By then, Means was able to make a few lead deposits of his own into the First Bank of Charles Ronald Conner -- an investment that ultimately saved the Texas criminal justice system the wads of cash they'd have blown on one of those pesky "trials."
#1. New Mexico Mom Chases Down an Out-of-Control School Bus
Jerry Horbert/iStock/Getty Images
As Rhonda Carlsen awaited the approaching school bus with her children at their Albuquerque bus stop one day in early 2012, something quite out of the ordinary happened: The bus didn't stop. No, in the very antithesis of the entire concept of a bus stop, the bus just rolled right on by, picking up speed as it went. The driver, it turned out, had suffered a seizure and was barely conscious.
Everyone assumes it was the seizure, but did anyone bother to check for a Speed-type bomb first?
Carlsen knew that shit was about to get real. It was apparent from where she was standing that the driver had lost control of the vehicle -- a vehicle that, incidentally, was already carrying a load of grade school children and had absolutely no intention of spontaneously gaining sentience and pumping its own air brakes.
Realizing that she was the only one standing between a bus full of children and an episode of The Magic School Bus Explores the Bottom of the Rio Grande, Rhonda sprang into action, just her two feet against 12 tons of soon-to-be twisted metal. In what must have been one of the most inspirational examples of ghost-riding the whip ever documented, Carlsen sprinted alongside the speeding bus. Since the doors of a school bus can't be opened from the outside while the vehicle is in motion, Carlsen was forced to enlist the help of a third grader in the front seat, somehow managing to instruct him on how to work the door mechanism while still tearing along beside the bus at a full-on sprint.
The doors on the bus go "OPEN THE FUCK UP!"
The kid managed to get the door open, and after hurling herself into the moving bus, Carlsen gently shoved the drooling driver aside before slamming on the brakes and killing the ignition, thus simultaneously rescuing a bus full of kids and proving once and for all that Carlsen is a member of the most dangerous and important occupation of them all: being a mom.
Without fail, most of your favorite television shows let you down in the series finale. In our latest podcast, Dan O'Brien, Breandan Carter, and Adam Ganser join Jack O'Brien to discuss their version of finales that would've much improved the overall series. You can download it here and subscribe to it on iTunes here.
Related Reading: Ready for more? Dolph Lungren's face once scared a gang of burglars away. Next, read the incredible story of the world's tiniest Nazi fighter and then learn about the father and son who Bruce Lee'd a gang.
With this across your chest, self-defense is already handled.