It's hard to put your faith in karma, in the idea that the Universe ensures that those who stride barefoot down the path of evil will encounter plenty of hard-to-see Lego bricks. But then again, maybe some capricious cosmic powers do indeed help stop crime and catch bad guys on occasion. Even if it's just the dumb ones ...
Drug-sniffing dogs, mounted police horses, and elite attack geese are but a few of the animal species that assist mankind in the pursuit of justice. Sadly, out of all the creatures that have officially assisted mankind's various police forces, cows have not historically made the cut. Which is fine by the cows. They prefer the vigilante route.
After crashing near a pasture, a Florida car thief tried to hoof it to safety. Figuring it was a safe way to stay out of sight, Jennifer Anne Kaufman darted into a grassy field. She didn't know that when the mean streets spill over into a peaceful pasture, cattle will chase down a fugitive like a bunch of slightly less leathery Tommy Lee Joneses.
Captured in its entirety on a police helicopter camera, these mad cows pursued our wily perpetrator across hill and dale, flipping the script by herding the human to a fence and right into the tacklin' arms of the deputies of the Seminole County Sheriff's Office.
In recognition of performing above and beyond their bovine civic duties, the Sheriff's Office gave credit to their hoofy deputies: "A group of cows provided law enforcement a big assist, repeatedly following and helping corral one who strayed on to their turf!" That's a big deal for the bovine rights community -- a thank you without a single cow pun? We really have come a long way.
On a gray and rainy day (or as the English call it, "a day") in March 2018, two Mancunian thieves went out to rob a travel agency, which is apparently a thriving industry these days. The robbers did manage to rustle up several hundred pounds and, obviously not expecting to come away with more than a few pens and complimentary calendars, they hastily stuffed their ill-gotten gains into their pants. The heist went off without a hitch -- until they stepped out into the open air and crossed paths with Constable Nancy Nature.
Faced with strong head-on winds, the robbers must've really regretted their choice of loot transportation, as the loose bills were blown out of their pants. You can see the lead robber, caught in a sexy Marilyn Monroe stance, as he tries to close his pant-holes in an attempt to hang onto his filthy lucre. Meanwhile, the second robber, in total disregard of what he learned in Robbery 101, runs back toward the scene of the crime trying to catch all the notes. Eventually, the two Benny Hill rejects gave up and fled with barely a stolen pound to call their own. Then again, they did rob a travel agent, so they still got exactly as much as they expected.
In 1995, a woman named Joyce Goodener was brutally stabbed, beaten with a cinder block, and set on fire (not that there's a ... non-brutal way to do any of that). Despite some initial leads, the case ultimately went cold. Fast-forward to 2012. Inmate James Washington clutched his chest and felt his heart giving up. As lay in agony in his hospital bed, he beckoned the nearby prison guard closer and made a bona fide deathbed confession: "I have to get something off my conscience and you need to hear this. I killed someone. I beat her to death." Then James Washington closed his eyes and ... didn't die. Which was great news, as it made him able to attend an upcoming murder trial -- his own.
Washington had long been a suspect in the Goodener murder case, but there just wasn't enough evidence for an arrest. But a confession heard by a government official was plenty. Of course, the defense tried to play it off as some bizarre hallucination induced by the meds he was on at the time, but the medical team told the judge that Mr. Washington had been completely lucid while confessing. After a three-day trial, Washington was found guilty and slapped with an automatic life sentence. That'll be plenty of time for him to recover.
In 2013, Florida Man Scott Simon was at a Waffle House near Miami when he found himself in an argument with another Florida Man, Nicholas Walker. Simon and his friends followed Walker into the parking lot, while Simon's girlfriend already had 911 dialed on her phone in case things got all ... Floridian. Things initially seemed to deescalate, but, well, this is a Waffle House story. Did you think it was going to have a happy ending?
Simon told his buddies to simply shoot Walker dead, and they obliged. This came as a great shock to Simon's girlfriend -- as well as the Broward County Police, who were listening from her pocket. Turns out she had accidentally connected that prepared 911 call at the exact moment Simon was discussing the murder of his Waffle House nemesis.
The call turned out to be the key piece of evidence, clearly showing the murder had been premeditated. As a result, it took a jury only seven hours to find the three men guilty and sentence them to life in prison. When asked about it, a spokesman for the police said, "I've never seen a criminal call a recorded line." Must've been their first day in Florida.
The men who kidnapped a 12-year-old girl in rural Ethiopia had a lot to worry about: vengeful parents, the police, their fate in the afterlife, etc. But what never figured into their list of problems was a pride of crime-fighting lions.
As the seven kidnappers were moving their victim, they unexpectedly bumped into the lions. Confronted with no longer being on top of the food chain, the very ungentlemanly criminals left the girl to fend for herself. But this isn't the story of how police found the licked-clean bones of a tiny lion meal.
For half an hour, the lions just kinda ... hung out with the kid, lounging about with seemingly no intention of devouring her face. When the rescue party finally arrived, the lions simply strolled off, figuring their job was done. A police sergeant Wondmu Wedaj said, it seemed as if the lions had left the child to them as a gift. And with only four of the seven kidnappers later found and arrested, uh, let's not speculate on what the lions got in return.
There were a few theories as to why the lions eschewed the traditional screaming-and-bleeding outcome. According to big game hunter Colonel Lemma Legesse (an obvious Disney villain), the lions were probably preparing to eat her, but were rudely interrupted by the rescue party. But we prefer the theory of a local wildlife expert, who opined that the girl's sobbing cries probably reminded the lions of a mewling cub. And truly, there is no more universal language than that of tired parents going, "I'm here, everything's fine, just shut up already."
E. Reid Ross has a couple books, Nature is the Worst: 500 reasons you'll never want to go outside again and Canadabis: The Canadian Weed Reader, both available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
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