Safe surrender gives hope for many

April 29, 2009 4:12:46 PM PDT
Fugitives had a chance to try to right their wrongs by turning themselves in at a Wilmington church today.Pastors gave pep talks while community leaders assured fugitives they were doing the right thing.

Men and women with outstanding warrants, some serious, some not, all lined up at the New Destiny Fellowship Church today so their cases could be settled on the spot, with the promise that judges would likely give them a break.

Walter Wise had traffic fines that were reduced to just five dollars a month.

"They're definitely working with everyone. Whoever isn't here, should be here," Wise said.

US Marshal Dave Thomas agrees.

"You're better off doing it on your terms than the police knocking on your door at four in the morning," Thomas said.

Aaron Woody of Birmingham, Alabama was convinced by his father Reverend Aaron Moore, a safe surrender volunteer, to fly back home.

"A lot of people that have warrants, such as myself, are afraid of getting locked up and going to jail and then a lot of people have families, so a program like this gives people a sense of ease," Aaron Woody said.

Indeed, having the program at a church made a big difference to some.

Karen Dunn was wanted for criminal impersonation charges.

"My sister's never done anything in her life, and she went to apply for a school teaching job, and because I had drug charges and used her name, she couldn't get it so, I have a chance to clear my sister's name," Dunn said.

Theresa Washington wants the chance to put her drug charges behind her for her family's sake.

"My daughter just had a baby, and I haven't seen her baby?I hope she's proud of me now," Washington said.

A lot of people left with the weight of the world lifted from their shoulders.

Anyone with outstanding charges in Delaware can come to the New Destiny Fellowship Church until Saturday at 5:00 p.m.

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