While being robbed at gunpoint, Houston man Dr. Victor Ho told his assailants that if they turned themselves in he would pay for their education.
Ho lives in a well-to-do neighborhood, according to Today.com. He was surprised to pull into his own driveway on October 17, with his kids in the backseat, to find a white van. The van started to pull away, but before it could Ho rolled down his window and asked the young driver if he could help him. The driver reportedly replied that he was waiting for a friend, and then drove off.
Realizing that something could be wrong, Ho went into his home alone, leaving the children in the car.
It was only moments later that a man in a ski mask put a gun to Ho’s head, Today.com reported. According to Ho, the armed robber told him, “I’m not going to kill you, just do what I say.”
Another masked man was in the house. They instructed Ho to give them $3,000 in cash from the family’s safe. Ho did as he was told.
He told Today.com, “Your subconscious will kick in, your reflexes will kick in. You keep your cool; you have to. And towards the end I started realizing, you’ve got to stay alive.”
The robbers then asked Ho for jewelry and more cash. After stealing various items from the family the two men eventually tied Ho up on the floor, asked him not to call the cops, and fled.
A few minutes later Ho’s children walked in and the cops were called. Ultimately, however, the robbers were never apprehended — they remain at large.
At first Ho and his wife offered a reward for the turning in of the men. They then realized, however, that “if they’re caught, they’re just going to go back out on the street.” So the family decided to use the incident to create positive change.
The family is now offering free education to the men if they turn themselves in. They have offered to pay for traditional college, trade school — or any sort of educational program that the men should choose to enroll in. Ho reportedly said, “We thought, how can we show our children how to make a good situation out of a bad situation and be a better person than the person who did this to us? We want to show our kids that we’re the better people, and maybe change the mentality of some of these kids who probably didn’t have the opportunity for an education. Maybe it will work to get someone off the street. Maybe it will raise social consciousness.”
Follow Kristin Tate on Twitter @KristinBTate.