NEW YORK (CNN) — A potential victim became a compassionate counselor during a recent robbery attempt, changing the would-be criminal’s mind — and apparently his religion.
Surveillance video shows storekeeper Mohammad Sohail holding a robber at bay with a shotgun.
Storekeeper Mohammad Sohail was closing up his Long Island convenience store just after midnight on May 21 when — as shown on the store’s surveillance video — a man came in wielding a baseball bat and demanding money.
“He said, ‘Hurry up and give me the money, give me the money!’ and I said, ‘Hold on’,” Sohail recalled in a phone interview with CNN on Tuesday, after the store video and his story was carried on local TV.
Sohail said he reached under the counter, grabbed his gun and told the robber to drop the bat and get down on his knees.
“He’s crying like a baby,” Sohail said. “He says, ‘Don’t call police, don’t shoot me, I have no money, I have no food in my house.’ ”
Amidst the man’s apologies and pleas, Sohail said he felt a surge of compassion.
He made the man promise never to rob anyone again and when he agreed, Sohail gave him $40 and a loaf of bread.
“When he gets $40, he’s very impressed, he says, ‘I want to be a Muslim just like you,’ ” Sohail said, adding he had the would-be criminal recite an Islamic oath.