Far too many of the stories we cover here, both in politics and current events, are simply sad, depressing or tragic. It’s the nature of the beast, I’m afraid. But Easter is a time of renewal and hope, and not all stories have unhappy endings. Here are a few modern day Good Samaritans from recent events who I hope will help recharge our collective faith in humanity.
Sometimes when a person sees evil in action, he is compelled to act.
Just after 4 p.m., a 54-year-old Sheboygan woman was leaving a business on N. 8th St. As she was putting items into her vehicle, the 28-year-old male suspect approached her from behind, grabbed her purse, and pulled her to the ground.
The suspect then ran from the scene.
A 55-year-old man driving past the area witnessed the suspect fleeing with the purse and followed him. When the suspect ran into a nearby yard, the good Samaritan parked his vehicle and began searching for the man.
The good Samaritan located the suspect in a yard, going through the stolen purse. The man then pursued, tackled and held down the suspect as officers arrived on scene.
Sheboygan police describe the man’s actions as both decisive and courageous.
When Janus Jurisoo was called a hero by local officials, he had just one response. “No I’m just a regular dude.”
A last minute change in lunch plans brought Janus to the CVS on the corner of Fruitville Road and Tuttle Avenue on Sunday. He decided to go kayaking and stopped by the store to buy water, only to find a crime in progress.
Sarasota Police say 65-year-old Freddie Johnson walked into the CVS with what appeared to be a gun in the pocket of his jacket, looking for prescription drugs.
“I saw him threatening the clerk in the front of the store with the gun. ‘I’m going to shoot you if you don’t stand still’ and all that stuff. When I entered he told me the same to shut up or I’ll shoot.” Janus adds.
As Johnson walked towards the pharmacy Janus told the clerk to call 911 and he began to follow Johnson. Janus says, “He was yelling put all the pills in a bag or I’ll shoot.”
Janos waits for Johnson to be distracted with the pills and then makes his move. “So I went grabbed his hand suppose to hold a gun took by the neck forced him down.”
“I told him not to resist to stay down or I’d punch him too,” says Janus. He says, “Police arrived quickly quick response I thank you for that.”
Not every hero rescues other people. Some rescue those who can’t ask for help themselves. When a family in Bluff City, Tennessee found an injured dog in their yard which had apparently been hit by a car, they contacted a business owner across the street to see if they might know who the owner was. She had a big heart.
“She came over to see him. The dog started wagging its tail,” Wanda said. “She seen its leg and she went all to pieces. She said, ‘I’m taking it on to get help. It’s not going to lay here in pain.’ ”
And the woman, who declined to be named or interviewed for the story, went to get her car.
“When she got back, he crawled to her car like he knew she was going to save him,” Wanda said. “It was just meant to be in my yard. He knew we’d get him help. You can’t let little defenseless animals suffer like that.”
The woman, who is being called “the Good Samaritan,” took the dog and brought him to the Appalachian Animal Hospital in nearby Piney Flats.
The dog, now dubbed Radar, spent the weekend at the facility. When the Good Samaritan returned Monday, she discovered Radar needed a very specialized surgery to fix his broken leg. Locally, the surgery could only be done by Dr. Ken Chamness, a veterinarian at Jonesborough Animal Hospital who specializes in orthopedic surgery for animals.
The initial vet stay came with a price tag of more than $500. The surgery, once completed, would cost another $1,000.
“She wants to give it a good life,” Wanda said. “I just felt really bad because it was in our yard and she game over and helped it, and it was a $1,500 expense.”
Just a few people who remind us that there’s still plenty of light left in the world. A joyous Easter to all of you.