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Man Shows Kindness to Teenage Mugger

Julio Diaz, a 31-year-old Bronx social worker, just wanted to do what he did every night on the way home from work: grab a quick bite to eat at his favorite diner. Only one thing stood in his way from doing just that—a mugger. When Diaz stepped off the train and onto the subway platform, a teenager ran up to him, pulled out a knife, and demanded Diaz hand over his wallet. Realizing it wasn't worth a fight, Diaz fished the wallet out of his pocket and gave it to the boy. Much to the mugger's surprise, Diaz decided to go the extra mile. As the teen ran away, Diaz called out, "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 boy stopped in his tracks, shocked. Diaz explained that it was quite clear the teen needed money, so he told him to keep the wallet, take the coat, and if he wanted, grab a bite to eat with Diaz. The boy was too shocked to say no.

As the two ate dinner at Diaz's favorite diner, the teen marveled over how many dishwashers and waitresses offered Diaz a wave or a friendly word. He figured Diaz owned the place. When the boy shared his observation, Diaz smiled and said, "Haven't you been taught you should be nice to everybody?"

"Yeah," the teen replied, "but I didn't think people actually behaved that way."

The two continued to talk about life and other matters. When the bill finally came, Diaz told the boy that he needed his wallet to pay. The boy handed it back over without thinking twice. Diaz paid for the meal and offered the teen $20. He also asked that his would-be mugger surrender the knife—which he did.

When Diaz told his mother about the encounter, she said, "You're the type of kid that if someone asked you for the time, you [would give] them your watch."

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