The events of October 18th

Posted: December 6, 2015 in Uncategorized

On October 18th, I was a “victim” (that word is almost painful to even write) of a violent crime.  I was in the state of Missouri, which is far from my home state, and in an area that  I was not even remotely familiar with.  I’ve seen something on Facebook that stated that streets named “Martin Luther King” have a higher percentage of crimes compared to other streets. I don’t know if there is any truth to that, but coincidentally this did happen on Martin Luther King Boulevard.  In retrospect, confirmation that I might not have been in the best neighborhood came in the realization that even the grocery stores and drug stores all posted an armed security guard at their entrance and again later when one of the police officers asked me, “what are YOU doing in this neighborhood?”

Most of the facts are briefly recapped below in the letter to the court.   However, I’ll share here that I didn’t throw any punches or even defend myself.  I could pretend that I was doing as Jesus instructed and just turned the other cheek.  Nope.  The truth is I was just expecting to exchange insurance information  after being in a car accident (it turned out he was uninsured) and I was somewhat in shock when the guy started immediately punching me in the face.  I was in the driver’s seat of my car directly behind my steering wheel.  When I was able to exit my vehicle, I was wobbly and off balanced because one of my flip flops that I was wearing was still on my feet while the other was not.  One guy was trying to attack me from the front, another came from behind me and stole my phone, and two others just stood there and watched it happen.  None of it really sunk in to me that I was even attacked until I saw my swollen and bloody face in a mirror later.  As upset as I was with myself that I didn’t catch on and defend myself (my boxing gloves were directly behind my seat and I didn’t throw a single punch), I realized later that considering that the guy they caught had a (stolen) gun,  if I fought back at all, I might not be here today.

I really have no idea why I am posting this, but I have a feeling the judging of me will begin.  The Victim Services handbook the St. Louis Court system sent me said that writing a victim statement can be “a beneficial therapeutic tool.”  I don’t know about that but I do know that this was the third pamphlet they have sent me, all of which were immediately thrown away and ended up in the garbage.  In a selfish way, I just want to move on, but today I pulled their most recent pamphlet out of the trash and wrote the following letter to the court:

 

Honorable Robert XXXX,

 

       My name is Tom and I am the victim in the case you are presiding over against Job Isaiah XXXX.  Please excuse my absence as I do not reside in the state of Missouri, and am unable to take more time off for this case.  My hope is that Advocate Caseworker Catherine XXXX or another court appointee can read my letter to the court.

       I think you already know the facts of the case, as I believe Mr. XXXX already plead guilty to 2nd degree robbery.  As a brief recap, Mr. XXXX and I were both driving vehicles on the evening of October 18th, 2015 when we were involved in a car accident with each other.  I pulled over into a strip mall to make sure the driver of the vehicle (who turned out to be Mr. XXXX) was okay and exchange insurance information.  As the accident involved his vehicle hitting my car door, I was unable to open my door and exit my vehicle.  He approached my vehicle, kicked my door, then ripped opened the door, and began punching me in the face while yelling expletives at me.  I was eventually able to exit my vehicle and get away, but not before Mr. XXXX stole my money and another man (who was not caught) stole my cell phone.  Considering Mr. XXXX had a gun, I realize that the outcome could have been much worse than the couple of black eyes and bruised ego I suffered.

       According to the pamphlet provided to me, the Victim Impact Statement allows the victim to communicate their feelings to the court and I believe you might take it into consideration when deciding your sentence.  I will share my feelings with the court and leave the judging and sentencing to you.   I will not second guess your decision, I am not seeking restitution, nor do I really care to even know the outcome or continue to receive communication about this case.  I’m going to share my feelings here, and then I am going to move on with my life:

        Prior to our accident on October 18th, I had never encountered Mr. XXXX so I will not pretend to know anything about him, but my thought is that Job Isaiah XXXX did a very stupid thing on that evening.  When I was his age, 25, I too, did a lot of stupid things (if I am being honest, I still probably do too many stupid things).  Like many of us, I would also venture a guess that Job has anger issues that should probably be addressed.  However, I have to consider his intent when he set out that night. I don’t think Job set out to rob me or anyone else that night.  Probably on a daily basis somewhere in our country a criminal will intentionally hit another vehicle with the plan of robbing the occupant of the other vehicle.  I do not think that was Job’s intent and I believe if there was no accident, Job would not have robbed me nor anyone else that night.

       My other thoughts probably have nothing to do with this case, but I’ll share them anyway.  In the aftermath of the Michael Brown shooting, Ferguson riots, and other happenings near St. Louis, your city seems to have more than its share of racial strife.  Although there are still plenty of lawn signs displayed in St. Louis stating #BlackLivesMatter, I am of the belief that #AllLivesMatter.  I believe this is Job’s second criminal offense I and I would encourage him to turn his life around before he ends up wasting his entire life in prison.  It is time for #Job’sLifeToMatter.

     I have a feeling that, like me, Job Isaiah was raised by a God fearing woman who probably spent more time than she should have had to praying over her son.  I don’t think she gave him the name Job Isaiah by chance and I would encourage him to study the wisdom of his namesakes.    In the book of Job in the Old Testament (Job 8:5) it says, “But if you will seek God earnestly and plead with the Almighty, if you are pure and upright, even now he will rouse himself on your behalf and restore you to your prosperous state.  Your beginnings will seem humble, so prosperous will your future be.”

       As much as I like this verse in Job, I’ll admit that some of my favorite verses in the entire Bible come from Job’s middle name, Isaiah.  Isaiah 53: 4-5 says, “Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted.  But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.”  About 500 years AFTER this was written, a man named Jesus walked the earth.  Not coincidentally, HE took up our pain and bore our suffering.  He was literally pierced for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities, and the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.

      Job, if you are listening to this, I’ll share something that you may find hope in.  On that day that Jesus was pierced for our transgressions, there was a thief (who knows, maybe guilty of 2nd degree robbery???) on the cross next to him.  With one of his last breaths on this earth, the thief put his trust in Jesus, who replied “today you will be with me in Paradise.”  Yes, like you Job, and like me, the thief also did a lot of dumb things. None of those dumb things were so bad that they could not be forgiven by Jesus.  Because he sincerely asked for forgiveness, he will now spend eternity with God in Heaven.  That same Jesus commands me to forgive others as he forgives me.  With that said, I offer my forgiveness to Job Isaiah Moore.  I will pray for him and I also will pray for you, Your Honor.  I pray that God will grant you wisdom while determining the sentence for Mr.XXXX.

Sincerely,

Tom.

Comments
  1. Christina says:

    Beautiful. While I didn’t know this had taken place, I’m in no way surprised that this is your response. You have a beautiful soul. Thank you for sharing Jesus with the world. I pray that your statement touches many, many lives in Jesus’ name.

  2. Christine says:

    You are a brave and good man. I pray that this is this man’s wake-up call and that he looks back and see’s God’s hand in the events of that day trying to save him. #bringingpeopletoJesusonepersonatatime

  3. Pablo Smith says:

    Dude!! I had no idea! I’m glad you are alive and ok. Sorry to hear you went through this horrible circumstance. God is the ultimate judge and I hope your letter rattles this guy’s brain in court and it can be a witness to him.. Dang! I was just waiting for the punch line and thought it was just a humorous read and had to re-read multiple times… I hope you are doing ok and this event doesn’t get to you. Say hi to the fam for us. See you soon bro! Take care

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  4. Anonymous says:

    This was a pretty amazing and inspired way of handling this Tom. You touched my heart today with your faith and love for the Lord. Hopefully this touches Job’s. Thanks for sharing.