An Arkansas man started the year off on the right foot after officials from a mosque he’d vandalized in October 2016 decided to pay off his fines.
Abraham Davis, the culprit in the incident, spray-painted swastikas and tagged the words “go home” on the front of the Masjid Al Salam in Fort Smith, Arkansas, the New York Daily News reported.
Officials were ultimately able to track down Davis, who was caught on camera. He would eventually be ordered to pay a hefty fine and complete out a community service sentence.
After catching wind of his financial burdens, officials at the mosque decided to start 2018 with a dash of generosity.
“We heard he was having financial problems,” Louay Nassri, president of the Masjid Al Salam mosque, told Arkansas Matters. “Now if you don’t pay your fine, that’s an automatic six years in jail.”
“Well, we didn’t want him to go to jail for six years,” Nassri told the outlet.
So what did Nassri do? He whipped out his checkbook and wrote out a check for $1,700 to cover the remainder of Davis’ bill.
“It shouldn’t be hanging over him for the rest of his life,” the official added. “After all that he had been through, we didn’t want him sitting on the severe financial stress… we want him to have a much better future.”
Though Nassri used funds allocated for mosque renovations, he insisted that “this was the right thing to do.”
“We thought if someone does something bad and came and apologized, you just forgive them. That should be the natural thing,” Nassri said.
Davis has since stated that he regrets the entire incident.