One South Dakota teen learned a valuable lesson after vandalizing dealership cars at a Subaru lot: compassion.
After police tracked down two boys who were caught on camera jumping on cars at Sioux Falls’ Schulte Subaru, the dealership’s owner decided not to press charges, according to local news outlet the Argus Leader. Instead, Mike Schulte opted to absorb the nearly $40,000 in damage and use the opportunity to change one of the kids’ lives for the better, Keloland.com reported. But why?
Schulte learned from police that the perpetrators were only aged 10 and 14, and had never faced legal trouble. In addition, the owner said it was clear the older boy “was very embarrassed and sad” over his actions.
He next realized that neither of the children’s families could afford to pay for the extensive damage, and learned that the 14-year-old’s home life left a great deal to be desired. All of a sudden, thanks to the help of the dealership staff, the boy and his mother had a new rental and the boy’s three-mile walk to school was eased by a new bike and a bus pass. He’s also getting a chance to slowly repay Schulte’s kindness by doing maintenance work at the dealership one day a week.
“He actually asked … if he could come down and help us out,” the owner revealed to the Argus.
Don’t assume that this is merely a bit of holiday inspired goodwill, either. Schulte indicated that he plans on sticking with the reformed teen through high school graduation, meaning this is a real second chance for a teen who nearly had the course of his life negatively altered by a stupid act of vandalism.