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Guy Gets Mugged, Comes Out Winning.

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Julio Diaz has a daily routine. Every night, the 31-year-old social worker ends his hour-long subway commute to the Bronx one stop early, just so he can eat at his favorite diner.

But one night last month, as Diaz stepped off the No. 6 train and onto a nearly empty platform, his evening took an unexpected turn.

He was walking toward the stairs when a teenage boy approached and pulled out a knife.

"He wants my money, so I just gave him my wallet and told him, 'Here you go,'" Diaz says.

As the teen began to walk away, Diaz told him, "Hey, wait a minute. You forgot something. 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 would-be robber looked at his would-be victim, "like what's going on here?" Diaz says. "He asked me, 'Why are you doing this?'"

Diaz replied: "If you're willing to risk your freedom for a few dollars, then I guess you must really need the money. I mean, all I wanted to do was get dinner and if you really want to join me ... hey, you're more than welcome.

"You know, I just felt maybe he really needs help," Diaz says.

Diaz says he and the teen went into the diner and sat in a booth.

"The manager comes by, the dishwashers come by, the waiters come by to say hi," Diaz says. "The kid was like, 'You know everybody here. Do you own this place?'"

"No, I just eat here a lot," Diaz says he told the teen. "He says, 'But you're even nice to the dishwasher.'"

Diaz replied, "Well, haven't you been taught you should be nice to everybody?"

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

Diaz asked him what he wanted out of life. "He just had almost a sad face," Diaz says.

The teen couldn't answer Diaz — or he didn't want to.

When the bill arrived, Diaz told the teen, "Look, I guess you're going to have to pay for this bill 'cause you have my money and I can't pay for this. So if you give me my wallet back, I'll gladly treat you."

The teen "didn't even think about it" and returned the wallet, Diaz says. "I gave him $20 ... I figure maybe it'll help him. I don't know."

Diaz says he asked for something in return — the teen's knife — "and he gave it to me."

Afterward, when Diaz told his mother what happened, she said, "You're the type of kid that if someone asked you for the time, you gave them your watch."

"I figure, you know, if you treat people right, you can only hope that they treat you right. It's as simple as it gets in this complicated world."

Produced for Morning Edition by Michael Garofalo.

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Good story Redline. There are moments that happen along the way that change everything. Hopefully this kid will never again be able to justify bad behavior by 'everyone else does it', and this encounter will make a difference in his life.

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All too often we see 2nd and 3rd or even 4th generations who don't know the rules of "life". They were lost because someone forgot to teach them and encourage others to pass it on. I am surprised at the amount of common sense people sincerely lack right now. This is a great story, that kid (both of them) deserve honors. One for being so understanding and the other for allowing himself to be understood. It is all too easy to the negative, heck our media glorifies it on a daily basis. Thank for posting.

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Very good story. He may have made the difference in that kids life that will influence what happpens to him for the rest of his life. Unfortunately there are lots of young people that are never taught not to do things like that and are told that there is no other way for them to survive than to live off other people. Some people it doesn't matter how much you try they will never change but just maybe he might have altered that kids life and way of thinking.

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I've heard of this story before. Not sure if this is the same story same man.Very few people these days show compassion like that anymore.

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