What would you do if you witnessed a mugging. When Tess Aboughoushe saw one last week, she did not hesitate to get involved. Her decision to do so benefited several people — including the thief.
GoodNewsNetwork reports that Aboughoushe had been returning to her office in downtown Edmonton when she heard a woman yelling down the street. Apparently, her wallet had been stolen.
“I was walking back to my office and crossing the street and a lady calls out, ‘Stop. Thief. He took my wallet,” Aboughoushe told CBC Radio’s Edmonton AM. “Just like in the movies, she screams and I see this man start to run. I didn’t stop to think or anything. I just kind of took off after the guy.”
The good Samaritan chased him two blocks. After rounding a corner into an alleyway, she saw that the man had stopped running. Instead, he started to cry. Aboughoushe recalled, “He came out from behind the dumpster and says, in a conciliatory way, ‘Here is the wallet, I can’t do this anymore, I’m sorry, just take it, take it.”
“So I took the wallet, and the woman caught up soon after. I gave it back to her and he stayed there, apologizing a lot,” Aboughoushe continued. Recognizing that the man was distressed, she invited the man to a café down the street. There, she bought him a large black coffee and listened.
The man told Aboughoushe that he was desperate. He had been visiting the city with his friends from Calgary when they left him broke and stranded. He didn’t have anywhere to go, he said, and needed to get back home. Aboughoushe wished him luck and gave him directions to the public library. There, he could seek out social workers on staff.
The activist admits she put herself at risk. However, she has no regrets. “Thank goodness for the Edmonton police and firefighters who demonstrate a willingness to actively put themselves in risky situations every single day,” she said. “That, I’m truly in awe of.”
Later that afternoon, Aboughoushe did make a report to the Edmonton police. However, she made it clear that she has no desire to see the man punished. In fact, she hope he receives help.
“You kill more flies with honey than you do with vinegar,” she said. “I wanted to show him some compassion.”
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