Kind Cub Scout forgives thief

By Bob McGovern and Prisca Pointdujour of the Boston Herald. (The Boy Scouts of America Communications Department was not involved in the creation of this content.)


Webelo Scout Edward D'Angelo. Photo by: John Wilcox
Webelo Scout Edward D’Angelo.
Photo by: John Wilcox

Ten-year-old Cub Scout Edward D’Angelo deserves a badge of courage for chasing the junkie who swiped his fundraising cash box — and now he’s showing a scout’s honor by forgiving the desperate thief.

The Everett fifth-grader said yesterday he feels bad for Kenneth Paul Smith Jr., of Chepachet, R.I. — the heroin-addicted punk accused of stealing the $261 the boy had worked so hard to raise at a popcorn stand at a Malden Stop & Shop Sunday.

“I forgive him,” the kind-hearted boy told the Herald. “He needs help to try not to take drugs and to try and not steal. I’m taught what’s best for me and best for everyone else is what you should do.”

Smith, 28, was ordered locked up for 90 days at the Massachusetts Alcohol and Substance Abuse Center by a Malden District Court judge yesterday. Court psychologist Catherine Howe said Smith surrendered to find a way “to ward off the acute symptoms of detox.”
Edward said he’s thought a lot about the robbery for days, but he doesn’t hold any grudges.

“I feel bad for him. I don’t think someone would do something that low, but I guess he was on drugs, so that’s kind of the reason he would do something that low,” Edward said at his home, surrounded by the popcorn he was supposed to sell that day.

Edward has been a Cub Scout for four years, is currently a Webelos, and wants eventually to become an Eagle Scout. When Smith took off with the money, Edward and his mother, Marguerite D’Angelo, ran after him, but “he was really fast.”

Marguerite forgives Smith as well and wants to make sure her son understands the value of letting go and moving on.

“Everyone makes mistakes. Nobody is perfect,” she said. “If you carry that anger and hatred, it’s only going to hurt you. It’s now in the courts, and there will be justice. Right now, all you can do is pray for him.”

Edward said he was frightened by the robbery and spent Monday trying to forget about it. “I went to school, and I really tried to not think about it. It was scary,” he said. “I didn’t know if it was a dream or not, and I tried hard to think that it wasn’t real — that it was all a dream — so I could get it out of my head.”

As luck would have it, Edward came home to an inspirational letter from Boston Red Sox outfielder Shane Victorino — an Eagle Scout — who sent a note to all Cub Scouts locally. It just so happens that Victorino is Edward’s favorite player.

“I sent him a letter back, too,” Edward said. “He’s been my favorite player since last year, so that was really cool.”

Edward and his mom plan on going back to Stop & Shop on Oct. 19 to sell more popcorn, and other members of his troop will be there to “stand in solidarity,” Marguerite D’Angelo said.

“This is the only fundraiser we do the whole year, so we we’re really trying our best,” Edward said. “This was money for camping. We were going to go to Otter River, and we always have a good time.”

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