(Everyone starting to get it? The government is not in place to help, it is now set up to steal from the people of America and punish personal initiative.) – editor
By DANIEL BATES
Last updated at 9:16 PM on 19th December 2010
It was an act of selfless charity that should have earned them a medal. But instead of being praised, a pair of Good Samaritans have been hit with a $90 fine each for saving a pregnant deer from an icy death.
Jim Hart and Khalil Abusakran sprang into action when the stricken animal got itself stuck on semi-frozen river.
The pair had reportedly grown exasperated watching a fire crew and a policeman stand next to the icy water and discuss among themselves what to do.
While the emergency services looked on they jumped into their own boat and rowed to the middle of the river where they hacked away at the 10ft thick ice with their oars and freed the deer.
But, instead of thanking the men, when they got back to shore the policeman ticked them off and issued them with a $90 fine – for not wearing lifejackets.
The men now face a court hearing in February where they plan to argue their case and refuse to pay the ticket.
The deer had got trapped on the Patapsco River in Linthicum, Maryland, and was soon spotted by a passing driver who dialled 911.
Sergeant Brian Albert of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Police said the fire crew arrived and spent some time ‘game planning what to do’.
He said: ‘We are not going to risk a human life for a deer life, as cruel as that may sound.
‘I’m as sympathetic as the next person on that deer being in the water, but when you weigh the risk to the reward, I would probably decide not to try to rescue that deer.’
Mr Hart, 46, from Carrol County, and Mr Abusakran, 33, from Baltimore County, disagreed.
They were among those who stopped to assist and, after watching the inaction, Mr Hart fetched the rubber boat from the back of his van and blew it up.
He and Mr Abusakran then got in and made their way to the middle of the 100ft-wide river where the deer was stuck and did their best to get it free.
Mr Hart said: ‘We went in and out of the water numerous times. [The policeman] didn’t stop us at all.’
It was only when they returned, having completed their mission, that they were hit with the fine
‘No, we didn’t have vests on… but we’re not 16 years old. There were personal floating devices on the boat’
Mr Abusakran said: ‘We had seen the deer going under. It couldn’t maintain. It was starting to freeze, and it was really getting bad.
‘No, we didn’t have vests on, but we’re not 16 years old. There were personal floating devices on the boat.’
After appearing on local newspaper website, the story drew a firestorm of criticism for the authorities and even offers to pay for the fine.
One website reader wrote: ‘Someone put their life in danger to save an animal, that should be commended.
‘These sound like the type of gentleman that act on impulse and would stop to help other people in distress without thinking twice’.
Another added: ‘Sorry state of affairs when the authorities simply lack common sense. Now the Good Samaritans have to waste time going to court, and the ticketing could deter others from undertaking efforts to be Good Samaritans in the future.’
Leo Grillo wrote: ‘Send me the ticket and I will pay it and send the guys life vests and rope to carry for next time. Good job guys!’