SAN MATEO (KCBS) – Mark Harvin was 18, and high on crystal meth and alcohol, when he broke into a garage that turned out to belong to a state assemblyman a decade ago.

“To call me a burglar is to give me too much credit. When I ended up in Jerry’s backyard, I was in a drug induced psychosis,” Harvin said Friday, sitting beside the man he now credits with saving his life.

KCBS’ Margie Shafer Reports:

Assemblyman Jerry Hill had not seen Harvin since that fateful day in 2002, until Harvin reached out to the man he once tried to rob as part of his recovery. It began with a letter of apology.

“It’d be hard to explain what was going through my mind,” Harvin said.

After years in and out of prison and drug rehab, Harvin counts 1,773 days clean and sober as part of his job with Project 90, a substance abuse program that Hill has long supported.

“As embarrassing or revealing as it is to tell my story, I do it frequently because it moves another addict the way nothing else can.”

At 15 he started drinking. By 16, he was taking speed. And at 18, he decided to steal from Jerry Hill’s home to feed his addictions.

Hill’s voice cracked with emotion as he listened to Harvin’s struggle to succeed.

“It’s really a pleasure sitting next to Mark Harvin under more favorable circumstances than when we met some 11 years ago,” Hill said.

“We both had a bad day that day, but that was then, this is now.”

Harvin said he has reached out to many people he has wronged. Not everyone has agreed to speak to him.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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