"I really don't regret it with the exception of catching AIDS…"

Attempted burglary in the third degree. My my crime is actually getting arrested three weeks after September 11th.. I walked into a building and I'll tell the truth I got high. And I walked back out. The doors are open, they charged me since I was a convicted burglar and a career criminal they said I was gonna break it. I got arrested October 4, 2001. And I had a very incompetent attorney and a judge does not like career criminals.

Sixty in New York State [arrested]. You know but I'm disabled. so I can't work. I've had AIDS for 22 years so what choice do I have. If I get a minimum wage job I'm gonna lose all my benefits, my medication cost over $2500 a month. So if I get a minimum job they'll pay for your medication but they won't pay for your doctors. I can't live on minimum wage job. I couldn't afford a place on minimum wage job. Now the city pays $2000 a month for my rent... they pay $2700 for my medication. Now how am I supposed to be able to get a job when only... I have a union card, I'm a union bug, I'm a carpenter but thats still, I'm not going to have enough money to pay for these things. You're talking about $40,000 a year just for rent and medication.

Now I live on the Grand Concourse, Grand Concourse and Fordam Road in the Bronx. I live in a hotel, SRO hotel. You know it's like the city decided that, Rudolph Giuliani decided that in his infinite wisdom to make these hotel that only AIDS, only people with AIDS live in so they can provide you with social services, but all they did was put you in a hotel with, the majority of people, I'm not from New York originally so you know, my family is not here to help me. Most of these people have done so much dirt so their family won't help them. They're filled, you know they're drug infested, you're trying to do the right thing it's very hard to do that. You know I'm too old to go back to jail. I'm 53. So I do not want to go back to jail anymore. I know if I get high, I'm gonna go do the crack because I don't have money to get high and then it's going to be off to the races and sooner or later I'm going to be back in here in the basement again, my life's going to be over essentially cause next time it's going to be life you know. It's a little late in life.

I mean I was pretty successful. I've haven't done a lot of time in prison. I've went all over the world with the money I've made you know. I'll tell you something. I would not make these choices again but I really don't regret it with the exception of catching AIDS which has really nothing to do with my criminal lifestyle. I enjoyed myself.

Thomas
July 21, 2008