When this shop owner in Garfield Heights, Ohio, discovered that his shop door was damaged by a vandal, caught on video surveillance, he’d had enough.
“I’ve been here 32 years. I do a lot for the community, and I was frustrated. Everybody who walked past in the morning you know before we saw the video footage to me was guilty, so I looked at them like with a side eye.” Grenig told
Rather than accepting the damage and becoming a victim, moving on from the event, Grenig took matters into his own hands.
“He took my advertising that I had on the window off by kicking the door, so I really wanted to put this guy firsthand and let everybody see what he had done, hoping to embarrass him and maybe come forward and admit what he did. I had the means to kind of punk this guy out a little bit and what better way to do it than to advertise on my own sign shop window?”
“He took that away from me for what I was advertising so I’m gonna give this guy his 15 minutes of fame in the limelight hoping someone in our neighborhood recognizes him, comes forward and we move on from this.” Grenig explained.
Thankfully for the small business owner, not only did the vandal see himself but the story swept over the entire community.
“He said ‘Mom, I did something wrong. I’m on the news. I’m afraid to even go to work,'” Grenig said to WJW.
Shortly thereafter Grenig received a phone call from the mother who said she wanted to make amends.
She brought her son to the store and had him apologize in person and explain his actions.
“The young man was here in Garfield Heights at a bar Friday night where he got jumped and pistol-whipped, had a little alcohol, he was discombobulated, he was hurt, wasn’t thinking right, came over, kicked the door,” Grenig said.
To his credit, the owner said he was moved by the son’s story and his contrition and decided to be lenient in his punishment.
“You know, for all the people that I’ve known in my life before that gave me breaks, I gave this kid a break,” he said.
The two parties drew up a contract, agreeing that the son would pay for the damages in monthly installments, and in return the storeowner agreed to take down the wanted poster on his front door.
The owner paid $600 for repairs to the door after the incident.
For both parties, the mother’s initiative and demand for accountability not only was an important moment of growth for her son but helped heal a community.
While the $600 repairs won’t be trivial, the lessons the young man gained from the incident will hopefully last a lifetime.
“For this parent to do what she did, that is incredible. That is an incredible way to parent and it should be set as an example of what other parents could do as well,” Garfield Heights Mayor Matt Burke remarked.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.