Tuesday, November 29, 2016

10 Good Samaritans Who Did Not Go Unpunished

Copyright 2016 by Gary L. Pullman

No good deed goes unpunished,” some cynics say, and some evidence supports their point of view. Good Samaritans have suffered losses ranging from employment to life itself. In many cases, their losses affected others as well. Spouses, parents, children, other relatives, and friends often pay a price nearly as great as the heroes' own.

Authorities aren't always sure when ordinary people should intervene in life-threatening situations, and some employers forbid such action on penalty of termination. Nevertheless, some good Samaritans say, despite the losses they've suffered, they'd do the same thing again, if necessary. When emergency situations confront them, they tend to act without a second thought, willing to sacrifice all, simply because, they believe, such action is required.

These men and women certainly did.

10 Kristopher Oswald

After negative publicity for firing a good Samaritan hired to stock shelves at night, a Michigan Wal-Mart store offered to rehire Kristopher Oswald, age 30. (A Wal-Mart spokesperson said the company's policy “requires employees to alert store management and call police instead of intervening in dangerous situations.”) A temporary employee at the time, Oswald intervened when a man attacked a woman in the store's parking lot. While eating a sandwich in his car during a break, Oswald heard the woman scream and saw her attacker “sprawled on the hood” of her car. She tried to “pry him off,” but he attacked her. When Oswald “confronted the man,” the assailant began to pummel him and threatened to kill him. Oswald was able to “subdue” the attacker, but “two other men jumped him form behind.” After police “broke up the fight,” Wal-Mart responded to the hero's actions by terminating his employment, and Oswald refused the store's offer to hire him back. (LINK 1)

9 Willie Parks

In Omaha, Nebraska, Osmar Garcia, age 18, disregarded a stop sign. Hurtling through an intersection, he struck two motorcyclists, Albert Brown and Patricia White. Good Samaritan Willie Parks, age 27, used a car jack to rescue Brown and White, who were trapped under the Buick LeSabre that had struck them. In the process, Parks lost the “tip of his right index finger.” The victims were also injured, suffering broken legs. Garcia, who was uninjured, was cited for driving without a license or a “valid registration.” (LINK 2)

8 Jesse Bautista
On July 18, 2016, in Houston, Texas, Jesse Bautista, age 41, and his cousin Carlos agreed to give the driver of a disabled car a ride to his aunt's house. On the way, the man attempted to carjack their vehicle. The stranger grabbed Bautista, threatening him with a screwdriver. Bautista's cousin, Carlos, scrambled from the car and took the screwdriver away from the man, but not before the assailant had stabbed Bautista with the tool. Caught in his seat belt and unable to escape from the vehicle, Bautista was dragged over “a half mile,” suffering “horrific burns” to “his chest, abdomen and arms.” He also received “spinal injuries and fractures across his body and lost three toes.” Bautista's injuries required hospitalization. It was the carjacker's second attempt that day to steal a car. An hour before, a woman managed to escape. (LINK 3)

7 Angel Soto

Angel Soto

In 2012, near Boynton Beach, Florida, Angel Soto lived up to his name when he assisted a 26-year-old car crash victim, Alexander Proscrurshim. Moments after Soto pulled Proscrurshim from his wrecked truck, Soto was pinned against the vehicle by another car. “The car hit so hard I couldn't feel my legs; the pain was excruciating. I was hopping around and looked down and it was a bloody mess,” Soto declared. The rescued man became the rescuer, as Proscrurshim made a tourniquet of “an old shirt.” Having “lost most of his right leg,” Soto was fitted with a prosthetic replacement. Although Soto's left leg was broken, doctors expect a “full recovery.” Even though he said he's “really happy to be alive” and with his wife and children,” Soto said rescuing a stranger was “worth it” and, “given the chance,” he would “do it again.” (LINK 4)

6 Gabriel Botiller

Gabriel Botiller, age 22, who worked for the Discount Tire chain, stopped to help a stranded off-duty police officer whose car was parked along a “busy expressway” near Mesa, Arizona. As the officer stood nearby, Botiller was changing his tire when a vehicle struck his truck, driving it toward Botiller and the officer, both of whom were severely injured and hospitalized. Botiller “was airlifted to a local trauma center with severe injuries, his chances of survival slim,” having sustained a badly broken right leg, a broken collarbone, and “several lacerations.” He also lost his left leg. Both Botiller and the officer survived, but the driver who struck Botiller's truck did not. (LINK 5)

5 Danny Krum

When he heard a woman was trapped in a car and only one other person was present, Danny Krum rushed to the victim's aid. He'd been cooking but forgot to turn off the stove. “Twenty-five minutes later,” he said, “my house was gone.” After reaching his attic, “the fire spread across the whole house,” Coal Grove Volunteer Fire Captain Jay Sherman said. Not only did Krum and his wife, who'd called him from the Ironton, Ohio, accident scene to notify him of the trapped motorist, lose their home, but one of their dogs perished in the fire as well. The motorist, 38-year-old Toni Christian, crossed four lanes before striking an “embankment” and flipping her car. Although injured in the crash and hospitalized, she was expected to make a complete recovery. The same firefighters who rescued her responded to the fire at the Krums' residence. (LINK 6)

4 Shane Stokowski

Shane Stokowski, left, and Timothy McShane, right

It was obvious that Timothy McShane was in no condition to drive. After leaving a bar in Chicago, Illinois, he “smashed into parked cars” as he attempted to drive home. Fearing McShane might kill someone, 33-year-old Shane Stokowski ran alongside the drunk driver's car, pleading with him not to “do it.” Along the way, Stokowski slipped and fell. It appears McShane ran over his skull, as prosecutors claimed Stokowski sustained “massive head injuries consistent with a tire running over his head” and have charged McShane, “whose license was suspended after a history of drunken-driving arrests,” with “reckless homicide and aggravated DUI.” During McShane's trial, “Dr. James Filkins, then an assistant medical examiner, testified that Stokowski had suffered so many fractures to his skull that he couldn't count them all.” Stokowski's father, Jeff, said, “My son, he tried to do the right thing, and it cost him his life.” At the time of his death, Stokowski was engaged and had expected to be married six months later. (LINK 7)

3 Anthony “T. J.” Antell, Jr.

When he saw the gunman shoot at the woman's feet, Anthony “T. J.” Antell, Jr., age 35, knew it was time to act. Unfortunately, his heroic intervention ended in his own death and the wounding of the assailant's wife, Quinisha Johnson. Outside the Arlington, Texas, Walgreen's drug store at which she's employed, her husband, Ricci Bradden, a 22-year-old Army private, was arguing with her about a selfie she'd posted of her social media site when he slapped her and fired his pistol. Retrieving his own sidearm from his car, Antell confronted Bradden, but the latter swatted Antell's weapon from his hand and then shot him. Bradden's wife was able to escape into the store. Antells' wife witnessed her husband's death. Later, Bradden turned himself in to authorities and is awaiting trial. (LINK 8)

2 Robert Ybarra

Robert Ybarra, age 81, late of Detroit, Michigan, survived combat in Vietnam, only to lose his life as a good Samaritan helping a man he thought was in trouble. Returning home from a coffee run, Ybarra saw a car parked alongside the road. The man inside wasn't in distress, though; he was drunk. After fighting with Ybarra, the intoxicated man ran over him with his car. Ybarra was tough. The burns to his body and his glass eye, both consequences of his combat duty, showed that. Unfortunately, after a day-long struggle, the old soldier succumbed to the injuries he received while trying to assist the man he thought was a stranded motorist in need of help. (LINK 9)

1 Kristi Clark and son Carter

Kristi Clark

Near Franklin, Tennessee, at approximately 9:00 p. m., a black sport-utility vehicle overturned in a storm after sliding on black ice (a transparent coat of ice on a paved surface). Kristi Clark, age 34, who's known for her good deeds, took her 10-year-old son Carter with her to assist the motorist. As they drew near the SUV, they were struck by a tractor-trailer. Carter died at the scene. Clark later died at a local medical center. (LINK 10)

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