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10 Amazingly Good Acts Performed By Bad People

by Amanda
fact checked by Jamie Frater

The standards of what makes someone good or bad are created by society. When we define someone as bad, it implies that the person will forever be that way or is incapable of doing good. But people can and do change, and no matter how bad we think a person is, they are capable of having some good in them.

Featured image credit: Lee Brimelow

10The KKK Picket The Westboro Baptist Church

The Ku Klux Klan, or KKK, formed in 1866 and have a long and well-told history of violence, from burning crosses to lynching to bombing African-American schools and churches. So when an organization with a history and reputation of so much hate and violence are repulsed by the actions of another organization, you know you’re dealing with crazy of epic proportions. That is exactly what happened between the KKK and Westboro Baptist Church.

The Westboro Baptist Church is another organization well known for its hate. Instead of minorities like the KKK, Westboro hates gay people. They’re known for picketing funerals, usually those of soldiers, and holding signs with phrases like “God hates gay people.”

While the KKK might hate minorities, many members are former military and don’t take kindly to the picketing of their fallen comrades’ funerals. In the past few years, the KKK have shown up to military funerals to counter-protest the Westboro Baptist Church. They sing, hand out American flags, and shake hands with those present. Dennis LaBonte, Imperial Wizard of the KKK group, can be seen in the video above voicing his disgust with the church.

9Burglars Stop A Pedophile

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In 2009, two burglars broke into the home of 24-year-old Richard Coverdale in Redcar, North Yorkshire. After ransacking the home and taking quick-selling valuables, the duo, a man and a woman, made a shocking discovery: The person they’d just robbed was a pedophile. The laptop they’d stolen contained 78 illegal images, all involving minors.

The burglars were faced with a serious dilemma—do they contact the police and face arrest themselves or do they turn a blind eye to the images they saw to protect themselves? After much thought, they did the right thing, confessing to police what they had done and what they had found on the laptop.

After receiving the information from the burglars, the police discovered how serious an offender Mr. Coverdale was. In addition to the stills and movies, he had pretended to be a minor named Danny online, preying on vulnerable young females. Just days before the robbery, he invited a female student to web chat and, upon getting the young girl on cam, he performed a sex act on himself. The girl told police she later harmed herself as a result.

Richard Coverdale was sentenced to 3.5 years in prison. The unnamed burglars were given 12 months community service, and the female was placed on probation.

8Career Criminal Saves Elderly Woman’s Life

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Some would call 36-year-old career criminal Jeff Rochford a lost cause. His record contains 80 convictions—mostly for burglary—that began at the age of just eight years old. Trying to reform himself, the Stockton-On-Tees resident got a job as a window washer, and it was while doing this that he saved the life of 78-year-old June Hoyle.

As he began working, he saw Ms. Hoyle through her window, and the first thing that struck him was that she didn’t look like her normal, cheery self. He noticed that part of her face was drooping, and he thought she looked like she was having a stroke. He promptly took out his cell phone, called 999, and waited for the ambulance to arrive.

It was later confirmed that Mr. Rochford was correct—Ms. Hoyle did in fact have a stoke, and his quick thinking may have saved her life.

Hoyle’s son personally went to Mr. Rochford’s home to thank him. He was quoted as saying, “He saved my mum’s life. I don’t care about his past. What he did was fantastic.” Jeff admits to having a troubled past from which there seemed to be no escape, but he says he’s currently reformed and has turned his life around. In fact, he is working on a diploma to become a peer mentor for offenders, helping them to also escape that lifestyle.

7Homeless Criminal Saves Police Officer From Attack

Homeless Man Rescues Cop Under Attack

On August 26, 2013, San Francisco police received a call about a female jumping on cars. An unnamed female police officer responded to the routine call without backup. The suspect began attacking the police officer, choking and beating her while a small crowd looked on and did nothing to stop it.

When the suspect went for the officer’s gun, 35-year-old Ryan Raso, who has at least a dozen arrests ranging from armed robbery to grand theft, knew he had to do something. He ran up to the suspect and tackled her to the ground, saving the police officer.

It took the police four days to track down Mr. Raso, who had left the scene. Upon finding out that he was homeless, the police offered their assistance to find him a place to stay if he wanted and replaced his headphones, which had been broken in the struggle. Mr. Raso says he just did what was right and that his father was a former police officer in New York and would be proud of him.

6Cousin Of Mob Wives Star Saves Fellow Inmate From Suicide Attempt

4- mobsterMob Wives is a popular American reality show that follows female relatives of notorious mobsters. While reality shows are often criticized for how real they actually are, there is no disputing the fact that these women are related to some very bad men, and some still have family members with ties to the Mafia.

Cast member Angela “Big Ang” Raiola, niece of Salvatore “Sally Dogs” Lombard, a former captain of the New York–based Genovese crime family, is an example of this. Her cousin is Luigi Grasso, an associate of the Gambino crime family.

Now 48 years old, Grasso began his life of crime at the age of 16, and his criminal record dates back to 1985. He was sentenced in 2014 to 38 years in prison on federal charges for a fatal armed robbery he committed with another known mob associate. He was also facing sentencing for felony gun charges unrelated to the armed robbery. It was while he was waiting to appear before the judge for the gun charges that Grasso did something amazing—he saved another man’s life.

Sitting in the bullpen and reading his court documents, he saw an inmate dangling from a noose made from a sweatshirt tied to the top of the cell. Grasso jumped to his feet, lifted the man’s head, and safely brought him down, saving his life.

During his court appearance, Judge Bruce Allen applauded Grasso, saying, “Before appearances are made, we have to acknowledge Mr. Grasso. Apparently he was instrumental in helping downstairs with another inmate who was in some difficulty. Thank you, Mr. Grasso.” Grasso was sentenced to 17 years for the weapons charges to run consecutively with his other sentence.

5Handcuffed Teen Saves Police Officer Having A Heart Attack

Teenager Saves Cop’s Life While Handcuffed, Now Receiving Award

In 2015, teenager Jamal Rutledge was arrested and charged with violating his parole on burglary and criminal mischief charges. He was taken to a jailhouse in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, for processing.

During the processing, Officer Franklin Foulks, 49, was sitting at his desk completing paperwork when he collapsed on the floor, clutching his chest.

Rutledge, alone in a caged room with the officer, sprang into action. He first walked over and checked on the officer, then yelled for help as he kicked on the fencing. Hearing the commotion, other officers arrived. They performed CPR and were able to restart Officer Foulks’s heart using a defibrillator. Despite the commotion, Rutledge did not try to run—he just got out of the way, quietly sat in the corner, and allowed officers to attend to Foulks.

Officer Foulks was taken to a hospital, where doctors said that if help had not arrived when it did, he would have died. Jamal and the fellow officers were honored at a Fort Lauderdale commission meeting in January 2015.

4Inmates Save Three Boys From Drowning

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In January 2013, 10 inmates from Larch Corrections Center in Washington State were at a park performing maintenance as part of a supervised prison work program. As they were getting ready to finish up for the day, they heard someone screaming. They thought it was just kids being kids until they saw a capsized canoe and two heads bobbing in the water.

Three brothers, aged 8, 10, and 16, had been out canoeing in Salmon Creek when their canoe overturned, tossing them into the frigid 7-degree Celsius (45 °F) water with a swift current moving 40–48 kilometers per hour (25–30 mph). Inmate Nelson Pettis removed his jacket and jumped into the freezing water, allowing the current to guide him to the young boys. He was able to grab both the eight-year-old and the 10-year-old. They found debris in the water and managed to hold on until rescue crews could reach them.

Another inmate, Larry Bohn, went in after the 16-year-old. Bohn safely brought him to shore and then went back in to give Pettis a hand with the two younger boys. A third inmate, Larry Fowler, helped the rescue crews bring the boys in from the raft to the shore. They removed their sweaters and wrapped them around the boys.

Pettis, Bohn, and the three boys were taken to the hospital and treated for mild hypothermia. The inmates say they did what any good person would do, with Fowler adding, “Just cause we’re incarcerated doesn’t mean we’re bad people. We made some bad choices in our lives, but we’re still, we’re just like everybody else. We’re just paying our debt for what we did wrong.”

The boys and their family wanted to meet with the inmates to thank them. A Larch Corrections spokesperson said the meeting was in the works.

3The Hells Angels Buy Every Bicycle At Walmart

Hells Angels Buy Every Bike At Local Wal-Mart

Biker gangs have recently been in the news regarding the shoot-out in Texas. Although gangs such as these are often accused of drug running, murder, and a host of other illegal activities, there is another, lesser-known aspect to these organizations—their long-standing involvement in charity work, mostly involving helping children.

While the Hells Angels have been involved in helping needy kids for the past 16 years, one of their most recent acts quickly went viral. During the Black Friday sales in 2014, members waited in line at Walmart for five days in order to make a very special purchase. Once inside, they purchased every single child’s bicycle in the store—about 200 of them. They donated the bikes to Poverello House, an organization in California that helps the needy.

In addition to that, they also run a yearly toy drive. You can check out the interview with member Merl Hefferman as he breaks down about what helping kids means to him in the video above.

2Former Crip Leader Saves Police Officer From Attack

Homeless Man Saves Police Officer

The Crips are one of America’s most notorious and violent gangs. Originating in Los Angeles, they are now spread all across the country with a strong prison presence. To say there is no love lost between these gang members and police would be an understatement, which makes this story all the more extraordinary.

In 2012, Dallas police officer Billy Taylor encountered a man who was high on PCP, acting violently, and attacking people. The man started becoming aggressive toward the officer. Baton in hand, Officer Taylor found himself cornered while the suspect approached him threateningly. That’s when former Crip gang leader Charles Alexander knew he had to step in and help the officer.

Alexander ran up to the two men, got between them, and threw the suspect to the ground in a body slam, possibly saving Officer Taylor’s life. Taylor was taken to the hospital for treatment of his injuries but ensured that he personally thanked Alexander before he left.

Alexander was honored by the Dallas Police Force with a certificate of merit. Dallas council member Dwaine Caraway was quoted as saying, “If we had more folks like Alexander, who had a change of heart, how much better would our country be?”

1Parolee Dies Defending Woman From Mugger

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Bobby Butler, a former heroin addict and past member of the Conservative Vice Lords gang, had a criminal record that spanned decades. His convictions included armed violence, theft, and drug dealing.

But although his past was one of violence, the 55-year-old father of four, who was recently out on parole, was turning his life around. He’d moved in with his mother, was attending church, had given up drugs, and had even found a job as a telemarketer.

On a rainy day in November 2010, he and a fellow passenger, an unidentified young woman, exited a train. A man in dark clothing holding a handgun jumped out and demanded the woman’s purse. Butler yelled for the suspect to stop, but the man opened fire, hitting Butler in the abdomen and fleeing with the woman’s purse.

Two hours after arriving at Mount Sinai Hospital, Butler was pronounced dead.

The woman he saved, who wished to remain anonymous, was grateful to her guardian angel but was emotionally distressed at the events, saying, “How can I be happy when my life was saved, when his life was taken?”

Crimestoppers posted a reward, leading to the arrest of the shooter. Butler might have lived most of his life as a criminal, but he died a true hero.

Amanda would like to dedicate this list in memory of her beloved dog, Max, who recently passed away at the age of 15. Max made the world a brighter place and brought out the good in everyone.

fact checked by Jamie Frater