NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — 10 On Your Side is hearing from the family of a mentally ill man who was the victim of a cruel prank.
He was forced to strip his clothes in freezing temperatures in a Facebook Live video.
The men behind the video apologized, saying they were intoxicated at the time.
The victim’s sister said the men deserve a second chance, and on Monday they came together in an unlikely setting.
“I was feeling very upset that somebody could do such a thing to someone,” said Karen Grigsby.
Grigsby said she was emotional after seeing the video of her brother online.
The clip shows two men laughing while telling her brother to remove his clothes. Grigsby said her brother has a history of mental illness.
“He loves to sing, and he loves to smile and take pictures, so he took it as trying to be friendly and be friends with somebody, and it went another way,” she said,
“Ever since the incident happened I felt terrible,” said Heath William. “I was lost. I cried. I kept apologizing. Words can’t explain how sorry I am, and I still am.”
Williams and Charles McKoy gave a public apology. Shortly after, Grigsby reached out to one of Williams’ family members and eventually sent a peace offering for him.
“I said just come help me out and do some outreach ministry and he said ‘OK fine,’” Grigsby said.
On Monday night, the two met for the first time to volunteer at Orcutt Baptist Church. They welcomed people in need with a hot meal and a place to stay for the night.
“That could be me tomorrow or later on tonight that could be me. It was very eye opening,” Williams said.
Despite what happened, Grigsby asks for people to stop threatening the men online. She also hopes others will choose forgiveness instead of violence.
“It’s going to work out just fine, God’s going to take care of everything and he’s going to make this negative into a positive,” Grigsby said.
Williams said he is grateful for the opportunity
“Thank you Miss Karen for giving me a second chance,” Williams said. “
“You’re welcome. God gave me one I can give you one,” Grigsby replied.
The other man, Charles McKoy, was also invited to the outreach event, but we’re told he was not able to attend because of work.
It’s not known if Newport News police will pursue charges, but Williams said he’s ready to accept whatever consequences come out of this.
In the meantime, Grigsby said her brother is well taken care of, but she wants to thank the community for the support.