Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Where charity & love prevail - Muslim style
LONG ISLAND STORE OWNER GIVES WOULD-BE ROBBER $40, FOOD
By SELIM ALGAR
A Long Island store owner who came face-to-face with a bat-wielding robber whipped out a shotgun in self-defense -- then showed the down-on-his-luck thief the ultimate sign of compassion by handing him $40 and a loaf of bread, according to a bizarre new video made public today.
Mohammad Sohail was working the register at his store in Shirley on May 21 at 12:35 a.m. when a man strolled in carrying a bat and demanded cash.
"He said, 'Give me your money! Give me your money! And was swinging the bat," Sohail recalled in an interview with The Post this afternoon.
Once Sohail whipped out his shotgun, the would-be robber immediately dropped to his knees and began begging for forgiveness -- claiming that the bad economy had pushed him to the edge.
"He started crying, saying, 'I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I have no job. I have no food. My family is hungry.'" Sohail said.
The attempted robbery was captured by a store surveillance camera mounted above the cash register.
In the video provided by News 12 Long Island, Sohail is seen pulling out the shotgun.
Seconds later, the would-be robber -- who has not been identified -- is caught on tape falling to his knees and clasping his hands together in front of his face.
Instead of carrying out his own brand of street justice, Sohail, a Pakistani immigrant who has lived in this country for 20 years, put down his rifle and in a humane gesture gave the man money and food.
Sohail said he then struck a deal with the would-be robber -- telling him to promise he would never try to rob anyone again.
"I told him to promise me never to rob anyone again," he said. "He made the promise."
After giving the man the $40 and a loaf of bread, Sohail's kindness didn't end there. He tried to get him some milk from the back of the store, but the man had already left the store.
Sohail then phoned 911 to report the incident to Suffolk County police.