Mugging Victim Turns Crime Into Teachable Moment

dinerYou know how every now and then you hear a story straight from the headlines that's so heartwarming, so touching, your faith in humanity is momentarily restored? Yeah, me neither. That's why the story I'm about to tell you had such a profound effect on my state of mind. Seriously, I just might start wishing on stars and believing in Santa Claus. Like, the next time I hear a bell ring, I'm probably going to say something about an angel getting his wings.

Oh god, I'm going to start crying again!

Deep breath. Okay, back to the actual story.

Once upon a November evening, 31-year-old social worker Julio Diaz of the Bronx was on his way home from work. He got off the 6 train, intending to go to his favorite diner for dinner.

That's when Diaz got a big surprise ...


A teen mugger with a knife accosted Diaz and demanded his wallet.

That's when the mugger got a big surprise ...

Diaz handed over his wallet. But he didn't stop there. As the teenager walked away, Diaz called after him, saying:

"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."

I know. It's like a Hallmark card come to life. Just wait!

So the kid, naturally, is like "Huh?"

And Diaz says:

"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."

Are you crying yet? You totally are. JUST WAIT!

So THEN the teen thief actually goes to the diner with Diaz. Where they have a lovely meal, during which the kid remarks upon how kind Diaz is to everyone in the diner, "even the dishwashers."

"I didn't think people actually behaved that way," said the teen.


At the end of the dinner, Diaz obviously couldn't pay, since the kid had his wallet. He gave it back "without thinking," Diaz says. He gave the teen $20 -- but asked for his knife in return.

The teen obliged.

You're full-on sobbing now, right?? Like I said, this is one of those stories that truly does restore your faith in humanity. I'll leave you with this final thought from Diaz:

"I figure, you know, if you treat people right, you can only hope that they treat you right. It's as simple as it gets in this complicated world."

Have you ever heard a story this heartwarming? (If you have, please share it with me! I need to hear more of these!)

Image via Eyes of New York/Flickr

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