I reckon if someone points a gun at you before you get a chance to avoid, escape or attack him, do what he says until you can escape or attack him (using lethal force as needed). Or he goes away. But that’s not how Nayara Goncalves played it. Text of her conversation with an economically and sartorially-challenged perp after the jump.
The robber walked into the MetroPCS store at 1543 S. Cypress Rd. in Pompano Beach around 10 a.m July 23, wearing a dark cap and jacket and holding an umbrella.
He exchanges pleasantries with Goncalves, asking whether she was keeping dry, then asks to see a phone.
Moments later, he reaches into his coat, apparently showing her a gun. He apologizes: “I really hate to do this. . . . Don’t be scared.”
“I’m not scared,” replies Goncalves, a devout Christian who was working alone. She calmly walks back to her cash register, telling the man,“You can do whatever you want, but I’m just going to talk to you about Jesus, my God, before you leave.”
The man momentarily pauses, and says, “God bless you for that.”
Goncalves tells him she is a Christian. He replies sheepishly, “So am I and I absolutely hate doing this. I do. I’m embarrassed to do this. But I have no choice.”
He says he has attended Calvary Chapel.
“Calvary Chapel?” “Pastor Bob?” Goncalves asks, saying she has visited there.
Yes, the robber replies, “Pastor Bob.”
“I’m so sorry to put you through this,” he says . . .
Goncalves continues to talk to the man, giving soothing responses of “I know, I know,” as he opens up about his troubles — telling Goncalves he’s married, has a job, and that he needed $300 to stave off eviction.
As if sensing an opening, Goncalves continues, her voice breaking for a split second, “I don’t know what you’re going through. But all of us are going through a hard time right now.”
The man barely looks at her. “That’s why I refuse to do anything out in the streets. I’ve never done this before.”
She offers to connect him with friends to help him find a job.
He says he had one.
She suggests he seek a loan from a friend.
He says he spent the last three days trying to do that, to no avail.
“I’m not very good at this obviously. If there’s no money in the register, can you show me?”
The man reasons that since she doesn’t own the store, “I wouldn’t be hurting you.”
But her single break from the gospel truth comes when she gently fibs that her employer would take any stolen money out of her pay.
He throws in the towel.
“I don’t want to do that to you. I’m sorry,” he says, turning to walk away. “I understand you still have to call the police . . . ”
Ever calm, Goncalves calls out to him as he walks off. “You know you don’t need to do that. You know Jesus. He can help you!”
He blesses her a second time.
Emboldened, Goncalves urges him to “go back to church.” Before leaving the storefront, he calls back: “You know one thing? Good is coming your way for what you did today.”
Then he confesses: “You wanna know something? It’s not real. It’s a BB gun. That’s how great I am at this.”
She urges him to “be careful, have a good one. May God bless you.”
And he was gone.