It was 6PM and the simple jeans and t-shirt I wore seemed like too much clothes for such a warm, yet beautiful sunny day. I arrived at a local self-service car cleaning location in the suburb city of Grand Prairie, TX prior to heading out to meet with a dear friend of mine in downtown Dallas. Being that I had been out of the country for two months, a little more than just car dust had settled within the confines of the vehicle I own. I parked my car, stepped outside to place the quarters in the vacuum machine, and noticed, after inserting them in the allocated slot, that it was not working. I gave it a quick little slap to make sure the quarters had gone through, but nope, it didn’t work, so I, then, hopped in my car, moved to another kiosk-like spot, and inserted three more quarters. This time, it functioned. I vacuumed all dirty floors and seats leaving it spotless. Once I was done, I noticed a young Hispanic gentleman aged anywhere between 21-26 come to the left of me with a nice, big smile asking me if I had change. I responded that I didn’t and only had one quarter left, but that he could have it. I turned to my right and noticed another gentleman pointing a silver gun towards me. This is when I knew something wasn’t right.

I calmly continued to walk into my car after hanging the vacuum hose up into its allocated spot and as soon as I sat in driver’s seat, one of the guys invited himself in and told me to give him ALL of my money. Thankfully, I hardly EVER carry cash on me, and I informed him I didn’t have any. With gun in hand, he demanded I give him my wallet, which I did as he and his friend searched my car. I began a conversation with him and asked him why he would be doing that to me. I calmly stated, “We could be brothers; we’re Latinos. Why do this to anyone let alone someone from within your community?” He responded with a, “We are NOT brothers, and I NEED money.” I continued to converse with him as he searched my jean pockets. I informed him, “You’re wasting your time.” Even though he still had the pistol in hand, I didn’t feel scared. I felt very peaceful and sympathetic towards him and his friend. I wanted to understand his pain and suffering. He glanced towards my neck, noticed my golden necklace, yanked it off, and then proceed to grab my car keys immediately handed them over to his partner in crime. He told me, “We aren’t going to take your cards or wallet; you should feel very blessed and grateful that we didn’t harm you.” I responded with: “I hope God blesses you too and gives you what you’re in search of.”

Walking towards a dark-blue, four door car that waited for them a few meters in front of me, they jumped in and proceeded to throw my keys out into the parking lot while speeding off into the streets. Two main characteristics I remember of the car: there was no license plate and the windshield was cracked. I ran to grab my keys off the floor and afterwards, sat in disbelief in my car. If anything, I hope that I was at least able to touch these guys’ hearts and make them rethink their future actions. I know it’s a difficult time for the world, but must we beat our own down? Somehow, I feel this was a necessary experience for me, but most importantly, for them. I did file a police report to prevent others from going through a similar, unnerving situation. In the end, material things come and go. I do believe God uses each and every one of us for different purposes and sometimes, all it takes is one person to change someone’s life. All I’ve ever asked for is to be used for a positive purpose greater than myself. I hold no resentment, no hard feelings towards these kids. It only motivates me to want to help make this world a better place. Violence is never the answer; an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. Sometimes just listening and understanding can make a world of a difference.


Mayra munoz June 16, 2017 @12:34 pm

So sorry that you had to go through this. We see the news and this happens to so much that We never imagine that it can actually happen to our friends. I'm glad you are ok, big props to you for handling the way you did. I hope they catch them, if not I hope your conversations with them made them realize there are other ways. Miss you and hope all is well!!

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