In the early morning of Saturday, April 3, vandalism and theft unexpectedly struck a grill and restaurant in Augusta, Georgia. Security footage clearly shows a hooded and masked man ransacking Diablo’s Southwest Grill and exiting carrying the cash register, after smashing the restaurant’s glass door to gain entry.
After discovering such a crime, many restaurant owners would have raged at the discovery of the break-in and demanded immediate justice. However, Diablo’s owner, Carl Wallace, says he will not press charges against the perpetrator, and instead is offering the man a job interview. In a public statement on the grill’s Facebook page, Wallace wrote, “Our burritos are such a smash hit we’ve got people breaking in at 4am for their fix…To the would be[sic] robber who is clearly struggling with life decisions or having money issues… please swing by for a job application. There are better opportunities out there than this path you’ve chosen.”
“…My initial response was, you know, anger, frustration,” Wallace noted about the crime in a further statement to TODAY magazine. However, in the end, he made the decision to acknowledge “…Easter weekend and to just extend an olive branch. You know, extend the layer of forgiveness and kindness and give the… would-be robber some redemption and a different path.”
“Maybe everybody should offer some kindness and a way to help the fellow person versus continuing to harm what is already broken,” Wallace said.
Although the burglar has not yet responded to Wallace’s invitation, the restaurant owner says he does not desire any further legal action if the perpetrator chooses to come out to him. The incident and Wallace’s reaction triggered a swift flood of enthusiastic support from the public. According to NBC news, Wallace has even been contacted by “outlets in Europe and Australia to share his story. He said he’s also being texted by pastors from around the country supporting his choice.”
This is a great story of forgiveness and mercy, and we should try not to let it be a one time thing. This Easter season, let’s similarly try to extend that olive branch of peace to others around us amid the crises of life.
Featured image from Diablo’s Southwest Grill’s Facebook page.