Crime tends to increase during recessions, both due to a lack of enforcement due to city budget cuts and desperation from those who turn to crime. But one mugging victim in New York has found his own way to fight crime: he took his mugger to dinner.
He was walking toward the stairs when a teenage boy approached and pulled out a knife.
“He wants my money, so I just gave him my wallet and told him, ‘Here you go,’” [Julio] Diaz says.
As the teen began to walk away, Diaz told him, “Hey, wait a minute. You forgot something. If you’re going to be robbing people for the rest of the night, you might as well take my coat to keep you warm.”
The would-be robber looked at his would-be victim, “like what’s going on here?” Diaz says. “He asked me, ‘Why are you doing this?’”
Diaz replied: “If you’re willing to risk your freedom for a few dollars, then I guess you must really need the money. I mean, all I wanted to do was get dinner and if you really want to join me … hey, you’re more than welcome.
“You know, I just felt maybe he really needs help,” Diaz says.
They had dinner. The teen returned the wallet. And, in exchange for $20, Diaz got the teen’s knife.
Kindness and treating people with dignity is an unusual way to address criminals, and can only effect crime one case at a time. But, for that teen, hopefully Diaz has made a permanent difference.
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