//Seeking Forgiveness

Seeking Forgiveness


One of the Roche vandals admits his mistake
D.J. Palm
Staff writer

Forgiving is harder than holding a grudge. Some hate you for what you did, some forgive you and move on with their lives. At one point in our existence we all do something really stupid we wish we could take back. That’s exactly how one of the Roche Bar vandals describes the choice he made that night.
Smith and a counter-part identified as John Slumpff (still at large) used sludge hammers to blast out windows of the Roche Bar on Quay St. on January 5.
Brian Smith, 30 of Port Huron, was arrested and charged with destruction of private property and has been sentenced to 6 months of probation, along with having to pay restitution and court costs.
Smith says that the torment he feels on the inside is worse than any sentence the judge could’ve handed to him, and is relieved the Judge showed leniency.
“It’s been eating me up,’’ Smith said. “I’m not a bad person, and I want him (Johnny Roche) to know that. I can’t go to the Roche and ask for forgiveness, but I just want him to know I’m sorry. I don’t care what anyone else in Port Huron thinks of me, but I do care what John thinks, and I want him to know that I’m not that kind of person.”
It’s uncommon for criminals to admit what they did, and say “I did it.” In fact, I’ve seen criminals maintain their innocence and only plead guilty because of a crap public defender or fear of heavier sentencing if their case goes to trial. Brian Smith is accepting full responsibility and punishment for the choice he made.
After talking with the man I feel that his remorse is genuine, and ultimately what did this man destroy? A window. Something replaceable. In no way am I condoning what Smith did. I’m simply trying to open people’s minds to the capacitance of forgiveness.
Smith has accepted his punishment, apologized to the owner and currently paying restitution for the broken window. Anyone can say that their sorry for what they’ve done but I feel Smith is trying to show it the best he can.