35 Years Later, Mugger Finds Victim, Apologizes

After spotting him on Facebook
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 1, 2013 10:33 AM CST
A Facebook logo is displayed on the screen of an iPad, Wednesday, May 16, 2012 in New York.   (AP Photo/James H. Collins)

(Newser) – One of the lesser-known things Facebook is apparently good for: finding the guy you mugged 35 years ago and apologizing. While reading a post about a bagel store shutting down, 53-year-old Michael Goodman happened to spot a familiar name: Claude Soffel. Goodman had remembered the name since the late 1970s, when he mugged Soffel on the steps of New York's Natural History museum, demanding his bus pass. Goodman, then a minor, was immediately arrested by undercover police officers, he tells the New York Post.

Goodman was "trying to look like a tough guy" in front of a friend who didn't believe he was in a gang, he wrote in his message to Soffel on Facebook. "Finally I can say—I'M VERY SORRY." Soffell, now 52 and a life coach, accepted his apology and added, "Interestingly, I have dedicated a large portion of my life to helping other men be the man they have always wanted to be, and moments like this one continue to fuel my faith that the battle may be uphill but so rewarding." Goodman tells the Post, "A very large weight has been lifted off my shoulder."

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