One Good Turn Deserves Another
He tried turning a wrong into a right. She turned the tables. Both paid it forward as Good Samaritans.
When an elderly woman was mugged in an Oklahoma cemetery last week the last thing she expected was to have the robber’s son return the cash.
But Christian Lunsford, 15, a teenager from Moore, wanted to meet his father’s victim and make things right. Even more surprisingly, the victim, Tona Herndon, agreed to meet with the teenager in a church parking lot this weekend.
Christian had some money his dad had recently given him and he wondered whether or not it came from Ms. Herndon. In either case, he wanted her to have it, nonetheless.
It marked the culmination of an emotional few days for Ms. Herndon who had just buried her husband of 60 years last week. She was visiting his grave site when she was mugged by Christian’s father, Shane.
“As the purse came off, I looked him right in the eyes and there was a look in his eyes,” Mrs. Herndon recalled to KWTV-News 9. “It was a look of pain and my thought was, ‘He doesn’t really want to do this.’”
However, police say that’s exactly what 39-year-old Shane Lunsford did do to the retiree.
His son, Christian, said he wasn’t surprised to learn of his father’s behavior. “I kind of suspected who it was because this wasn’t the first time,” Christian said.
Shane Lunsford had been in and out of jail several times during Christian’s childhood. Lunsford, 39, was arrested on Friday after allegedly trying to use one of Herndon’s credit cards. He remains in custody, according to Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office records.
His son, however, seems to be made of more kindhearted and stronger stuff. He decided to offer Ms. Herndon the cash he had just received from his dad.
“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,” he said.
The two families met at the First Baptist Church of Moore, where Christian, his mother, stepfather and two sisters are members. Christian apologized for his father’s actions to Ms. Herndon face-to-face and handed her the $250 he received from his father.
The gesture touched Ms. Herndon. “This is a very blessed family, I thank them so much for what they wanted to do, to make things right. That was wonderful,” she said.
Then things took on an even more surreal twist as Christian was handed the money back upon Ms. Herndon’s insistence. Christian’s gesture meant more to her than just the cash.
“I was very surprised actually,” Christian said. “I didn’t expect that at all, but it meant a lot.”
‘He gave and I received, and I gave and he received, so it worked out,’ Ms. Herndon simply said.
As for Christian– he will use the money, as planned, for a band trip this fall.
* * * * * * * * *