ST. LOUIS - He offered a man a cupcake and some money and ended up with bruises and a broken leg.
A catholic priest is speaking out about the brutal beating he endured during an attempted robbery.
It happened in an alley in south St. Louis last week.
The friar downplays his injuries, instead preferring to focus on the root of the violence.
But still, it's hard to look past the results of the beating. Physically, he is a fractured friar, sporting a broken leg and an array of colors under his eyes and around his neck.
Spiritually, Friar Ed Mundwiller is intact. “Somedays you're the hammer, somedays you’re the thumb,” he said.
That good attitude is despite what happened Thursday in a South St. Louis alley in broad daylight. Walking from an elementary school where he was volunteering back to his church, St. Anthony of Padua, Mundwiller offered a man on the street a cupcake the school gave him.
“He didn't want the cake but then he asked if I had a dollar, so I gave him a dollar,” he recalled.
Friar Ed went on his way walking along the alley when all of a sudden the same man came up from behind him and he says tried to grab for the wallet that the friar had in his front pocket. He resisted, they struggled, and the friar ended up on the ground where the young man punched and kicked the priest before running off without the wallet.
“It's part of a much bigger narrative,” said Mundwiller.
He holds no grudges and even relates to his attacker.
“If it hadn't been for Catholic sisters I think I probably would have wound up in a penitentiary or dead,” he said.
He even uses a picture of the Grand Canyon as a symbol.
“This disconnect between people of different colors,” said the friar. “He probably hasn't had success, you know, there aren't really, you know, the same kinds of schools or communities around here for him.”
Friar Ed says if he met his attacker, he would offer to help the man find a better way to get what he needs.
He said he can't identify him because the man was wearing a surgical mask.
St. Louis Police tell Five on Your Side’s Mike Rush they're optimistic they can make an arrest soon based on evidence they've collected.
(© 2017 KSDK)