October 19, 2011
On Tuesday, we told you about a guy who slapped Chicago Bears kick returner Devin Hester in the back of the head in a Chicago-area casino. At the time, we had no explanation for his actions. Now we do.
Darlene Hill of Fox Chicago News caught up with the man, Daniel Rago, 52, and got his side of the story. Basically, his side is that he did something awful, and he's really really sorry.
Here's what went down, according to Rago. He was in line to cash in his chips at the Rivers casino in Des Plaines, Ill. Devin Hester(notes) was in line with him, as was an elderly couple. A teller opened up a new window, and she waved Hester over to cash in his chips. Hester moved towards the teller, but Rago felt like the elderly couple was next in line. Here's what Rago did next, in his own words:
"I went over to the left of him and as a father would reprimand a kid -- not saying he's a kid, but a young man, okay -- and I just gave him a biff on the back of the head, is what I did."
Then Rago apologized profusely, clearly embarrassed and ashamed about what he'd done. It's as sincere an apology as you'll ever see. If there's anything fake about it, this guy is the greatest actor on the planet.
"I was wrong for doing that. I mean, nothing justifies a person hitting or touching another person. It's wrong on my part."
He's even offering to do what he can to make amends.
"Devin, if you're listening, and you can see me here, I'm telling you, I am so, so sorry. I made a mistake. I'm the bad guy here, and I apologize. And I'm going to ask you right now -- I will donate $500 to the charity of your choice and 20 hours of community service on your behalf. I messed up, and I apologize for that."
Rago also wants to make sure everyone understands that Hester was just minding his own business.
"Devin did nothing wrong. He told me that the lady waved him in, so he did what he was instructed to do, okay? So, no no. Devin did nothing wrong. I'm the one that used poor judgment here. Devin's a good man, and I apologize to him and everybody else."
By the end of it, I even started feeling bad for the guy. You can watch the whole five-minute apology here.
Kudos, again, to Devin Hester for reacting with patience and restraint. I imagine that a stranger slapping the back of your head would be rather infuriating, especially when you didn't do anything wrong. The situation could've gotten much, much uglier if Hester wasn't a composed, cool-headed guy.
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As for Rago, it seems like he's learned his lesson, and if he follows through with the donation and the community service, he'll have turned a negative into a positive.
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