In the heartwarming story that went viral over the past week, about a man apologizing over Facebook to the person he mugged about 36 years earlier, the gracious victim who accepts the apology is Sag Harbor’s own Claude Soffel.
Michael A. Goodman said he was reading a post on Facebook about his favorite bagel place, H&H Bagels in Manhattan, closing down when he saw Soffel’s name.
“You may not remember this (about ’76 or ’77) but a long time ago I walked up the steps of The Museum of Natural History one afternoon, trying to look like a tough guy to [somebody] & saw you standing there at the top of the steps, I walked up to you and (mugged) you for your bus pass,” Goodman wrote in a comment under the post. “For some reason there were undercover Police right there & I was arrested on the spot.”
Goodman said he never forgot the incident and Soffel’s name. “It has sort of haunted me a bit throughout my life,” he said. “Finally I can say ~ I'”M VERY SORRY that you had to go through that crap that day long ago, I wish it had never happened but it did.
Soffel commented back, accepting Goodman’s apology.
“Interestingly, I have dedicated a large portion of my life to helping other men be the man they have always wanted to be, and moments like this one continue to fuel my faith that the battle may be uphill but so rewarding,” Soffel wrote in his response. He said they both now should put the incident in its proper place, “behind us.”