CHICAGO—Aaron Neal, a 20-year old Englewood man who had posted a video recording himself breaking into an ATM machine in Chicago on Facebook said he feels “remorseful and apologetic” for his actions in NBC’s interview on August 19.
Aaron Neal announced on Facebook Live video “I’m going to find some place to loot”, while breaking into an ATM Gold Coast with a hammer, prosecutors said in the afternoon on August 15. A series of looting incidents happened across Chicago during the week, and Neal and other people headed into downtown Chicago on early morning August 10. He is facing felony charges of burglary and criminal damage to property to the ATM, said the Chicago Tribute.
On August 19, Neal spoke out in the interview by Christian Farr from NBC.
He confessed his regret at the looting, saying “I’m very remorseful, because if I was a business owner myself, I would understand where they are coming from, and their pain. Because one day I might be able to be a business owner and I wouldn’t want it to happen to my business.”
“I normally don’t loot. That’s not what I do. I’m a working man”, said Neal, when Farr asked him what he will say for people who are not happy with the incident.
Neal has no other criminal record. He has been out of work from a factory in Joliet due to the pandemic and receiving unemployment assistance from the Oregon state, said Courtney Smallwood, his court-appointed attorney, according to the Chicago Tribute.
Neal was fired from a factory in Joliet because of COVID-19 downsizing weeks before the incident, and he has received unemployment assistance from the state. He graduated from Kelly High School and now a student in city college, NBC reported.