Mugger Who Spots Victim on Facebook 34 Years Later Does Something Incredible

It's not unusual that people confess their crimes on Facebook, but one man not only confessed, he also apologized -- to his victim. It all started innocently enough on a Facebook thread about a bagel store closing. One man reading the thread, Michael A. Goodman, recognized the name of another man who had commented in the thread, Claude Soffel. The man's name had been seared in his memory since he was a teen -- and had mugged him. Realizing who it was, Goodman wrote a touching post apologizing for his crime 34 years ago.


Seeing the name, Goodman was flooded with memories. Decades before, he had been a tough gang member who was trying to prove to another teen how tough he was. So he robbed Soffel on the steps of the The Museum of Natural History. An undercover police officer witnessed it and arrested Goodman on the spot. Since he was a minor, his father had to leave work to come collect him at the station, and he was none too pleased.

The incident changed Goodman's life for the better. He straightened himself out and remained haunted by what he had done -- and by the name Claude Soffel. Seeing it on a mutual friend's thread about the bagel store, Goodman opened up, saying:

I have never forgotten the incident or your name (it has sort of haunted me a bit throughout my life) & then here I am on fb. reading about my favorite bagel store in the world closing down ... my brain was blown!

Finally I can say -- I'M VERY SORRY that you had to go through that crap that day long ago, I wish it had never happened but it did. Like I said I was trying to look tough to impress some guy who didn't believe I was in a gang, pretty frickin' stupid huh ? So once again I'm truly sorry for taking your bus pass back then - forgive me & thanks for reading this "strange" & very long message! Peace & love to you my brother...!!!

Soffel didn't respond for ten hours, but when he did, it must have been a big relief to Goodman. Soffel wrote back:

Michael A. Goodman, clearly [you're] 'bigger man' today. wow. Memory is a funny thing, I recognize your name now, as well. So, apology accepted.

He went on to say that he has dedicated his life to "helping other men be the man they have always wanted to be" and that this apology continued to "fuel my faith that the battle may be uphill but so rewarding." He concluded:

So let us now, jointly, put this in its proper place, behind us. With respect, Claude Soffel.

Aww. This is so touching. It just goes to show you that people can change. And that forgiveness is one of the most bravely human acts you can do. Goodman went on to say that Soffel's acceptance of his apology gave him "peace" and "dare I say it even JOY!"
Pat on the backs to both Michael Goodman and Claude Soffel for putting this incident behind them and getting closure. What a nice story for the holidays!
Have you ever seen someone on Facebook who did something awful to you years before?

Image via Tlaukkanen/Flickr

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