A man who beat civil rights icon Rosa Parks and took $53 from her during a break-in at her Detroit home in 1994 says he dreams of redemption.

In a prison interview published Sunday in The Detroit News, Joseph Skipper, 40, repeatedly apologized for the attack and said he cried when he learned that Parks died in October.

Skipper is serving an eight- to 15-year sentence at the Alger Maximum Correctional Facility in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. He told the newspaper he had hoped for a face-to-face apology someday.

"I will go down in history as the man who robbed Rosa Parks," Skipper said. "I'm sorry that she died. I was hoping to get out in time to tell her I was sorry. I have to draw strength from God."

Skipper, who broke into Parks' home, hit her on the face and robbed her, blamed the crime on a drug problem. He pleaded guilty and apologized at his 1995 sentencing.

Parks was treated at a hospital after the assault and moved into a high-rise apartment building. She died in Detroit on Oct. 24 at the age of 92.