5 Times Celebrities Straight-Up Fought Real Crime

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by Pauli Poisuo

Deep down, celebrities are just like us: If you stab them, they bleed. If you leave nasty internet comments about them, they downvote you on Reddit. And if you try to commit crimes in their vicinity, they ... turn into the characters they play and go full vigilante, apparently.


Benedict Cumberbatch Fights Off Four Guys Who Were Assaulting A Delivery Guy

Let’s say that you’re an Uber driver in London. You’re taking a stylish couple to a downtown club, when the guy -- who seems somehow familiar, though you can’t quite put a finger on where you know him from -- suddenly asks you to stop on Marylebone High Street and jumps out.

Now, let’s say you’re a food delivery cyclist just riding through Marylebone High Street, when four rowdy guys bring you to a halt. You figure out that they’re going to mug you. The fact that one of them just hit you over the head with a bottle is a pretty good clue about that sort of thing. As you fall to the ground and the quartet descends upon you, you vaguely realize that someone is running at you from a car that stopped nearby.

Now, let’s say that you’re Hollywood A-lister and expert otter impersonator Benedict Cumberbatch, who was just casually ubering to a club with his wife when he noticed a robbery, and is currently busy taking on all four wannabe thugs at once.

Yes, that actually happened, and yes, it was awesome. Despite his roles as Doctor Strange and Sherlock Holmes, it’s easy to assume that a comparatively gangly-looking dude like Cumberbatch might not seem like the kind of guy to go full contact on multiple opponents at once, at least not without a stunt double. That assumption went right down the toilet in June 2018, when Cumberbatch instinctively intervened in the mugging scenario described above.

Nothing says badass brawler like … Benedict Cumberbatch?

He pulled all four dudes away from the victim, and just straight up got in their faces, screaming them to leave the cyclist alone. The men tried to punch him. He just pushed them away. It was only at that point both the muggers and the uber driver who had joined Cumberbatch in the fray realized exactly who they were dealing with. The four would-be villains decided that they were needed in the general direction of “away”, and proceeded to move there with some speed. Crisis averted, Cumberbatch took the time to make sure that the delivery guy was OK. When he was later asked for comment, the actor’s concise summary of the incident was: “I did it out of, well, I had to, you know ...” Like he was genuinely flabbergasted that someone wouldn’t act exactly like that when they spot four violent dudes bottle-beating a citizen.

Shad From WWE’s Cryme Tyme Stops A Gas Station Robbery

In December 2016, a Florida Man decided to get rowdy at a gas station convenience store. He approached a customer and demanded: “Hey, man. Buy me a beer.” When the man responded by saying that there are better ways to ask than that, Florida Man decided to take this as a mortal insult, and drew a gun.

There was just one minor hitch in this plan: The manner-conscious man he was pointing the gun at was Shad Gaspard, a 6’7, 285-pound former WWE wrestler. You might remember him from his ironically named tag team, Cryme Tyme. His gimmick might have been the kind of dude who might well rob a gas station, but the real Shad wanted none of that crap. When he saw the gun, a single thought crossed his mind: “F*ck this, I’m not dying in Florida.”

So Shad proceeded to not die in Florida. With extreme prejudice.

“Alexa, define the word ‘mistake’.”

He started staring the robber down and intimidating him with his size, much like you’d expect a wrestler to do for his opponent before a match. This worked so well that the robber meekly asked Gaspard to leave, so he could rob the gas station in peace. Unfortunately for the criminal, however, Shad did not much care for the idea of leaving some idiot to run rampant with a gun. Besides, he was now ready to rumble. Determined to stop the crime (cryme) and neutralize the danger, he bull-rushed the robber, threw him against a freezer door and took away his gun. Then, Shad grabbed Florida Man in a rear naked choke and dragged him outside, where he finished him with a body slam on the concrete. If that sounds too incredible to believe, don’t worry: here’s some footage so you can see it for yourself.

Because the universe likes an extra layer of absurdity in stories like this, Shad’s friend and former Cryme Tyme tag team partner JTG was also present at the scene. He was the guy who called the police while Shad was manhandling the would-be robber.

John Oates Of Hall & Oates Puts A Famous Robber Through A Glass Door

Remember Hall & Oates? Their four-decade career has featured all sorts of ups and downs, which they’ve tackled with their combined superpowers of The Most 1980s Mullet In Existence and The Most 1980s Mustache In Existence to the tune of 40 million album sales.

Their look and chosen profession might make them seem like just another pair of pretty boys (or, uh, at least boys), but rest assured, Daryl Hall and John Oates are hardcore. We’re talking “they once had a bar fight with a shotgun-wielding master criminal” hardcore.

Now, the following story does comes from an interview with John Oates himself, so there might be just a tiny amount of proud exaggeration there. However, from what we can tell, the duo has been pretty consistent about the story for years, and we’re not about to question a man whose mustache has to be registered as a lethal weapon in 29 states, so here goes:

The year was 1980, and Hall & Oates were touring Australia. One day in Melbourne, they were having dinner in a restaurant with their crew, when a guy in a long coat and ski mask burst into the joint. Waving a sawed-off shotgun, he screamed: “Everybody put your money on the table! I ain’t f**king around!” Oates first assumed that it was a record company prank, but a closer look at the crusty, yet extremely real weapon soon changed his mind.

“Dude, why the gun? You can rely on your old man’s money.”

Their table managed to frustrate the robber by having very little cash and offering him credit cards, which he scoffed at. So the gunman turned his attention to another table, where the chef was sitting. The chef’s wife took out her purse and opened it. The robber bent down to take a look inside. And everyone sprang into action. First, the chef grabbed the shotgun guy by the collar, and decked him in the face. This knocked him back toward the door. Recognizing the perfect opportunity to finish the tag team move the chef had so kindly set up, Oates got up, ran at the gunman, and speared him right through the glass door.

The police arrived to pick the guy up as Oates was casually standing on his wrist to stop him from getting away, which is when they found out that this was no ordinary robber. They had caught an infamous criminal the local media had dubbed the Rusty Gun Bandit.

The Singer Of The Kinks Takes A Bullet While Chasing Criminals

Not many 1960s rock icons would have been inclined to run after armed criminals even when they were fit twenty-somethings in the, well, 1960s. Ray Davies, the singer of The Kinks (aka, the band that made all those classics you vaguely recognize), might not have been, either.

He saved that until he was in his late fifties.

In 2004, the 59-year-old Davies was in New Orleans, having dinner with a friend at a restaurant in the French Quarter. On their way back, a car suddenly stopped beside them. A gunman jumped out and demanded his friend’s purse. He and an accomplice then escaped with their bounty on foot. Davies -- who was pushing 60 and had just eaten, remember -- did not much care for the situation. So he gave chase.


Tragically, history will never find out exactly how an elderly rock legend planned on taking down two men less than half his age, one of whom was wielding a gun. It is The Modern Rogue’s measured opinion that he would have gone full John Oates on them both. Unfortunately, he didn’t get a chance to: The gunman must have felt that his chances to outrun Davies were slim, because he turned around and opened fire. Davies took a bullet in the leg. Not that it helped the robbers one bit: Gunning down rock stars on a busy tourist street is an excellent way to get the cops extremely invested, and the shooter was promptly caught.

Meryl Streep And Cher Join Forces To Stop An Assault

Cher and Meryl Streep, Academy Award winners and industry legends, both know a thing or two about the amount of crap a woman has to go through in the entertainment industry. They’re also decades-old friends who have done several movies together, starting with Silkwood way back in 1983. So it makes sense that they’ve hung out quite a few times.

What you wouldn’t expect is that they used to hang out and fight crime.


Some 30 years ago, the two were casually Cher-and-Meryl-Streeping in Manhattan on a quest to get some ice cream, when they came across a bona fide assault situation: a “gigantic” man who was straight-up ripping the clothes off a woman. So they sprang into action. Screaming at the top of their lungs, they charged at the man. When it became apparent that they had the guy’s attention and he was now coming at them, they split up and divided his attention.

The assaulter soon gave up and escaped the scene, because that’s what you do when you’re an abusive jerk who gets double attacked by two silver screen legends. Cher and Streep then moved to check on the victim ... who completely freaked out when she saw who had saved her. And that was the only day in history when the words, “I was saved by Meryl Streep and Cher! All my friends are going to be so jealous!” have ever been spoken ... as far as we know. To any Hollywood executives who might be reading this: Please green-light Meryl Streep & Cher: Street Vigilantes right now.

Like this article? Check out “5 Hard Criminals Who Went Legit And Became Famous” and “5 Celebrities Who Walked Away From Fame”.

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