A teenager tried to turn his dad’s wrong into a right. Christian Lunsford, 15, wanted to meet his father’s mugging victim to try to make amends. The victim, Tona Herndon, agreed to meet the teenager on a Sunday afternoon. Christian wanted to give her some cash that he recently received from his dad. But that meeting took quite an unexpected turn.
A month earlier, Tona was at the cemetery. She had just buried her husband of 60 years and was visiting his gravesite, when she was mugged.
“As the purse came off, I looked him right in the eyes and there was a look in his eyes,” Tona remembers. “It was a look of pain and my thought was ‘He doesn’t really want to do this.'”
But police say that’s exactly what 39-year-old Shane Lunsford did and his teenage son, Christian, was not surprised.
Christian said: “We were on our way to Tulsa to visit some people and I got a call from the county jail,” “I didn’t answer it, but I kind of suspected who it was because this isn’t the first time.”
Christian says his father has been in and out of prison several times during Christian’s childhood. He says the two weren’t close, but said his father recently gave him some cash to use toward a band trip.
Christian said: “When I found out this whole situation, I didn’t know if it was hers or his or how, I just knew I needed to give the money to her.”
So the two families met at a church, where Christian, his mother, stepfather and two sisters are members. It was here that Christian wanted to meet Tona face-to-face and apologize for his father’s actions and give her the $250 he received from his father. But the ending didn’t go as Christian had planned, when Tona immediately returned the cash to him.
“I was very surprised actually,” Christian said. “I didn’t expect that at all, but it meant a lot.”
Tona said Christian’s gesture meant more to her than the cash. Says Tona: “He gave and I received, and I gave and he received, so it worked out.”
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