5 Good Deeds That Were Punished With Excessive Cruelty
The measure of a person's integrity is said to be how he or she behaves when nobody's looking (not taking into account all the masturbating). We all like to think that we'll do the right thing when push comes to shove, but it can be hard sometimes, especially when you find out that good Samaritans often wind up on the face-in-the-dirt end of the shoving. Unfortunately, it's a sad truth that fate sometimes decides that an act of niceness is often rewarded with a last-place participation trophy (along with a hearty kick to the junk), as in the instance of ...
The Disabled Veteran Arrested For Rescuing A Dog From A Hot Car
Seeing a child trapped in a parked car (a situation that seems to be happening a lot this year for some reason) with the windows rolled up on a hot summer day angers most people to the point where they'd like to issue the parent responsible a firm rebuke of the "right hook to the jaw" variety. But usually nobody intervenes much beyond the "somebody tell the kid pushing the carts to tell the store manager to tell the police to do something" level of social responsibility. But when it's a dog that's panting its ass off in there, for a few people at least, that's when all bets are off. And you're goddamn right they're going to bash the windows in and rescue that poor pooch from a sweltering death-by-two-door-coupe.
Although it might be in the dog's best interests if you stopped for a minute
to realize that it's a soft-top.
The above hero to leg-humping yap-rats everywhere is a man named Michael Hammons, a PTSD-diagnosed Desert Storm veteran who observed such a tragedy-in-the-making taking place in May in a Georgia shopping center. As three marginally concerned citizens puttered around, deciding what to do about the Yorkshire terrier that he felt was in distress inside an unattended Ford Mustang in the parking lot, Hammons seized the initiative by tearing an armrest from his wife's wheelchair, then deploying the improvised bludgeoning tool to shatter a window and free the imperiled pup.
While his wife presumably applauded from within the pile of twisted metal that used to be
her only means of conveyance.
Sandra Hammons, the woman whose wheelchair was so cruelly disfigured for the greater good of dog-kind, recognized immediately that her husband had no malicious motives behind the act, stating (possibly while crawling around on the concrete, trying to put her chair back together), "The only thing he could think of was to save the dog." This was further corroborated by witnesses who watched as Hammons took his sweaty new pal to the shade of a nearby tree to give it some water. When the owner of both dog and vehicle returned, however, she didn't look quite so kindly upon Hammons' commitment to canine welfare. After calling the police, she furiously demanded he be arrested for giving her car the Elin Nordegren treatment. And since Georgia has a law that allows for one to break into a car to rescue a human, but no such provision for pets, the police had no choice but to place Hammons in a pair of cuffs.
Or maybe two pairs.
The local police chief confirmed the overwhelming shittiness of the Yorkie's owner, stating, "We would not have made those charges on our own. The deputies on scene say the owner of both dog and car was very insistent that he be charged with criminal trespassing." Thankfully, all charges were later dropped, and despite initially facing the prospect of a $1,000 fine or up to a year in prison, Hammons says he would do it all again: "I've got PTSD, and I've seen enough death and destruction. And I didn't want anything else to happen if I could prevent it." Good for you, Mr. Hammons. Even though the victim of your assault happened to be a Ford, you couldn't be more American unless that eagle on your shirt there came to life and started shitting on every foreign model in the lot.
And/or immediately began ripping the English-bred terrier apart for its allegiances to the monarchy.
The Tollbooth Worker Fired For Spotting Somebody 5 Bucks
Septuagenarian Vladislav "Sam" Samsonov had been working at the same tollbooth in Boca Grande (a French term meaning "Plentiful Vermin"), Florida, for the better part of 30 years when he decided to help out a passing motorist by paying for a toll out of his own pocket. It was just something Samsonov did now and again if there was some kind of (infrequently made) mistake made on his part (under-charging someone with a trailer, in this case), in order to balance his register. But when his superiors got wind of this egregious malfeasance, they cut his workweek from five days to two. And when Samsonov told them that he couldn't manage with that kind of schedule, they decided to compromise -- by firing his ass.
The compromise being that he could now spot 5 bucks to anyone he liked; it just had
to be from the comfort of his front yard.
Being that Samsonov hit all the requisite marks for a sympathetic figure (elderly, veteran, frequent dispenser of lollipops), the local community rallied behind him and vociferously condemned the actions of the Gasparilla Island Bridge Authority, letting their feelings be known by way of today's most effective means of disseminating outrage -- posting weepy messages on Facebook. Despite the outcry, Samsonov's former bosses declined to comment on the situation, saying only that they "don't discuss personal matters." Whether this attitude is common among all tollbooth employees I'm not sure, but it might explain the cold reception I've been getting whenever I pay to get off the New Jersey Turnpike with origami-folded $1 bills, tied with a ribbon to a single red rose.
I'm pretty sure he keeps them in a hope chest somewhere, and not just for evidentiary purposes.
Now, granted, Samsonov had been warned about doing this sort of thing before, but he claims that he was never formally written up, and it's hard to see where his behavior poses any kind of tangible monkey wrench to the wheels of bureaucracy here. Surely they could have given the man a wink and a nod, at least until he hit the 30-year mark. But now, Samsonov says, he will look to spend the rest of his days doing volunteer work, since the Bridge Authority appears unwilling to budge (which is admittedly something of a good trait for people in charge of bridges). The "Gasparilla Island fixture" will forever miss his days behind the booth, however, since he considers the people at the toll to be his family. Which makes one wonder if there's a disgruntled grandchild in the picture somewhere, who'll at least be able to get his hands on the stray fivers that gramps has been doling out to random shitheads all these years.
And we can only hope he won't spend the money betting on the Cubs, which might
only hasten the post-retirement depression.
The Little Old Lady Arrested For Feeding Other People's Parking Meters
Sylvia Stayton made it her personal mission to feed the expired parking meters of complete strangers, and for this she became a celebrated folk hero in Cincinnati. And, if nothing else, this should tell you everything you need to know about the state of professional sports in Ohio. But, unfortunately, since that sort of philanthropic activity has the side effect of reducing a city's revenue stream, the powers that be in "The Blue Chip City" (possibly named for an incident in the 1800s wherein a large number of cattle were accidentally fed detergent) made sure to make it a jailable offense. Eventually, Stayton fell afoul of this law, and it "landed her in a dingy jail cell without her bra."
Forcing her to construct a jailhouse version out of shaving cream and socks.
On the occasion of the arrest of Stayton, who was a 62-year-old grandmother of 10 at the time, she might have walked away with merely a fine. But she reportedly may have done the walking away part just a little too soon -- right after a police officer noticed what she was up to and told her to stop. Or maybe, as the court documents (which show that she may been a bit of a jerk) explain it, she "admittedly tried to prevent a police officer from issuing traffic citations to two parked automobiles by feeding the expired meters." Either way, it meant a trip to the hoosegow for the "Meter-Feeding Granny," and a local radio station commemorated her deed in song (to the tune of Marty Robbins' "El Paso"):
The grandma was adding more time on the meter.
The policeman said, "Lady, you're breaking the law!"
But Sylvia ignored him and dropped in a quarter.
Down went his hand for the cuffs that he wore.
I can't help but think that a Judas Priest version would have been
the obviously superior choice here.
Stayton did not go quietly and proceeded to resist the officer's attempt to bring her into custody. This led to a scuffle, during which she claimed to have incurred a bruised forearm, as well as, one might assume, a grievously traumatized ego. Though she was quoted as repeatedly saying, "You've got to be kidding," subsequent obstructing official business and disorderly conduct charges revealed that neither Ashton Kutcher nor even the lowly Tom Green were anywhere in the vicinity during the time of the incident. After paying $500 plus court costs for the infraction (and appearing on several talk shows to complain about it) Stayton went back to her life as a homemaker, director of a Presbyterian Church youth group, and Sunday School teacher. And after she passed away, her church group reportedly paid homage by continuing to donate nickels (secretly and less obnoxiously this time) to Cincinnati meters, all while while wearing T-shirts that read "Sylvia Stayton ... guilty of kindness."
Now, that's all well and good, but Stayton's troubles with the law could just as easily have been avoided, had she merely taken a lesson from our friends in Australia. It seems there's a group over there that does the same exact thing she was prosecuted for, only for some reason they've managed to operate for years without a single arrest. And by "for some reason," I mean "because boobs."
It's amazing the deals you can pick up at the Busta Rhymes estate sale.
The Man Who Found Some Lost Property, Posted A Sign, And Was Promptly Cited For Littering
Say you were wandering around the backwoods of Louisiana and came across a perfectly good drill set. Unless you were some kind of asshole, you'd naturally want to return the tools to the presumably inbred, serial-torturing swamp maniac whence they came. When Jamie Montgomery of St. Tammany Parish happened upon such a circumstance while he was driving along on Dog Pound Road (you read that right), he unfortunately couldn't immediately locate the owner. So, while said owner of the tools was possibly busy off in the brush somewhere pounding dogs, Montgomery did the next-best thing and tacked up a "lost and found" sign on a roadside tree. Soon thereafter he received a message in the mail. But it was not from the rightful owner of the property; it was a summons from town officials, demanding that he owed them $165 for littering.
Maybe they were just pissed off at having spent the entire day trying
to figure out who "DeWalt" was.
According to the above news report, Montgomery is an admirable, camouflage-cap-wearing fellow who believes in "doing the right thing, no matter what." He knew that he couldn't keep the tools he had found, even after some shady acquaintances tried to convince him otherwise. And as the proud owner of a tree-removal company in the area, though he could surely have put the drill set to use by ... putting holes in trees or something, his innate sense of decency simply would not allow him to take advantage of another's misfortune. And while he was technically in violation of the law as it was written, it must have come as quite a blow to learn that some petty bureaucrat decided to make an example of him. Especially when he or she could have just as easily torn the stupid sign down and proceeded to go about the more important business of busting crawdad poachers and creole voodoo rings.
Now, if you look at the sign, you'll notice that Montgomery didn't reveal his name or his place of business. It simply mentioned that some tools were found and his cellphone number. That means that somebody actually had to investigate this outrageous breach of the public trust by running the number through a law-enforcement database. Then, instead of actually contacting Montgomery by informal means about the transgression, that extraordinarily vigilant person also had to go through the trouble of filling out a pile of paperwork to have the summons issued. The takeaway from all this, I guess, is that I might have to seriously consider retiring in St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana.
Because multi-million-dollar BP oil spill settlements are apparently doing wonders
for the local crime rate.
The 90-Year-Old Man Cited For Feeding The Homeless
When your city enacts a law that effectively prevents charitable people from feeding the homeless, you might assume the folks in charge are nearing the end of their term limits, or maybe they're just plain sick of the whole civil-service gig. Reason being, unless "homeless" is a code word for "escaped laboratory chimp/hammerhead hybrid infestation" or something along those lines, it's going to be hard to get a majority of the non-hobophobic public behind that kind of decision. But when the authorities start charging 90-year-old WWII veterans for violating that kind of law, that's when you know it's time to sound the alarm for the possibility of an infiltration by members of Cobra Command.
On the bright side, they probably won't give a shit whether or not you separate your trash.
Oddly enough, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, instituted an ordinance of that very sort in 2014. And the new "ban on public food-sharing" was highly successful, in that it made things next to impossible for Good Samaritans to publicly provide meals for the "no fixed address" crowd. By law, charitable organizers were suddenly required to provide portable toilets and hand-washing facilities (something previously required only for music festivals and the like) for both the workers and the hungry. Whether such a step is an effective way of making Florida public parks less of an open-air shitfest than normal is up for debate, but the official word purported that it was put in place to ensure that all soup-dispensing would be carried out in an "appropriate, organized, clean, and healthy manner."
As is befitting of a locality famous for its drug abuse and swamps.
More realistically, it was likely an attempt by sitting Mayor Jack Seiler to roust the homeless away from the view of tourists. See, despite subsequent claims to the contrary, it turns out that Seiler admitted as much back in 2012. And while he stated that the public was "somewhat supportive" of the new ordinance, it definitely rubbed a lot of people the wrong way. But what rubbed people even wronger was when police decided to cite this guy:
I guess when you want to put a stop to shitting in public, you might as well
start with the elderly.
That's Mr. Arnold Abbott, who happens to be the exact sort of 90-year-old, WWII veteran mentioned earlier. He's also an ordained minister and has been an advocate for the Fort Lauderdale homeless population for years, which is an occupation that city leaders would probably define as "a pain in the ass." To be fair, the cops didn't exactly slap a pair of cuffs on the man and toss him in the back of a paddy wagon (as many early press reports eagerly implied). But they did charge him with a crime and created such a public spectacle in the process that city hall was subsequently deluged with angry letters from across the nation (and the world) to the point where the new law was temporarily halted, presumably in fear of an incoming tsunami of tar and pitchforks.
And likely, this being Florida and all, at least a few machete attacks.
Mayor Seiler, as is popular among Floridians, stood his ground by insisting that the media had blown the whole matter out of proportion, and that "the city of Fort Lauderdale is not banning groups from feeding the homeless." And perhaps something indeed needed to be done about the preponderance of hobo turds dotting the landscape. But local governments everywhere could probably take a lesson from all of this, at least in terms of how they might enforce future controversial laws. Namely, when you feel the need to get serious with the opposition, try to make sure the person that you're heavy-handing doesn't weigh 90 pounds soaking wet and isn't old enough to remember when most of the country could have used a free sammich on a semi-regular basis.
He's vowed that he will never stop -- staring down the blouses of those fine-ass 50-somethings.
The moral arc of the universe is long and sometimes it bends into a ditch of misery. For more bad things that happen to people who don't deserve it, check out 5 Stupid Juries That Prove The Justice System Is Broken. Feel kinda crummy now? To regain a modicum of faith in humanity check out 18 Undeniable Facts That Prove The World Is Getting Better.
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