Late last month, a sporting goods employee in Tallahassee, Florida, detained a man who was attempting to steal a gun from the store. While this act should seem heroic, or at least the right thing to do for any employee, his employer thought differently and fired him over the incident.
The Tallahassee Democrat (news site belonging to USA Today) reported that on June 29th, Dean Crouch, 32, was working his shift as assistant manager of Academy Sports when suspect Jason White allegedly attempted to steal a .40 caliber handgun and ammunition.
According to the Daily Wire: “The Tallahassee Democrat states that White asked to look at the handgun at the firearms counter; when he was given the gun, he fled toward the front door, where he was tackled and subdued by Crouch and another employee. White was held in an office until police arrived; according to the Tallahassee Democrat, he admitted to stealing the gun and threatened to shoot people with it.”
Now, we can’t possibly live in a world so 180 degrees backwards that stopping a GUN THIEF in a store would get someone fired, right? That can’t be the reason he was fired. Well, you’re right. The reason he was fired, after having been suspended, was because he violated store policy barring employees from placing their hands on customers while they’re in the store.
Yeah, never mind the fact that Crouch possibly saved a number of people AND saved the store a couple hundreds of dollars from a stolen gun and ammo. Never mind that he did the right thing. No, what really matters is he put his hands on the “customer” who most likely did not actually purchase anything and so, one can hardly even define him as a customer. No, Crouch, if he wanted to stop White, should’ve used the Force instead.
Are you kidding me?
We’ll return to this sheer stupidity after I share some more details.
According to the Daily Wire: “Crouch’s attorney, Ryan Hobbs, told Fox News that Crouch, who is married with two young children, was prompted to act by other employees yelling ‘stop that guy’… Hobbs claims Crouch was placed on suspension after the incident… Hobbs noted after Crouch was fired on Tuesday that Crouch had been ‘suspended and terminated for preventing this thief from stealing this weapon.’ He told the Tallahassee Democrat, ‘Academy has decided to, instead of treating him like a hero he is, they terminated his employment effective immediately because he put his hands on Mr. White.’ Hobbs said Crouch and his wife had to put their home up for sale as ‘a direct result of him losing his job at Academy Sports.’”
Hobbs said of the store: “My instincts tell me they are concerned more about people like Mr. White suing them for being stopped in the course of a theft than they are about rewarding or acknowledging in a positive manner that Mr. Crouch may have saved lives… I think he was thinking there is a man running out of the store with a gun in his hand with his coworkers following from the firearm area screaming ‘stop that man.’ Something had to be done and he was the one that was going to do it.”
You really have to be left stupefied to believe a store employee would be fired for STOPPING THE THEFT OF A FIREARM! Now, I understand the need for such policy. These kind of things are put into place to prevent employees from possibly harming a customer in any way and to hold them accountable in the case that they do. However, as with many other cases, there are exceptions to such policy rules.
The thing about implementing and enforcing policy is that it needs to make sense. It needs to be reasonable. Had Mr. White been stealing just about anything else, I still believe it would be best to subdue and detain him, even if the store believes otherwise. But that’s just me. One can easily make the case for just letting them go as well and leaving the police to handle it.
However, we’re talking about a decently high-caliber GUN being stolen with matching ammunition – the type of gun most police officers use today. Despite any intentions Mr. White had with the gun (even if he didn’t admit he wanted to shoot people), the only sane and HEROIC thing to do is to subdue and detain the gun thief. And I honestly think even liberals would agree with me here.
With all the talks about gun control that had been happening earlier in the year, I think even hardcore liberals would agree with Mr. Crouch on this and hail him as a hero. Regardless of political leaning, Mr. Crouch stopped a man with a gun from fleeing the store. Anyone who stops an armed man should be hailed as a hero. And yet, this man was fired over store policy.
How ridiculous is that?! As I said before, there are exceptions to every rule. Those exceptions only exist within reasonable grounds. Stopping a gun thief from escaping your store should be one of those exceptions to that particular store policy. I mean, seriously. What was he supposed to do? Shout at the guy that stealing is against the law? Asking the guy nicely to return the stolen gun? Or use the Force as I mentioned earlier?
Had Mr. Crouch let Mr. White go, the thief would have shot and most likely KILLED some people. The thief ADMITTED to planning as much. Would that have been a more preferable outcome for the store? Not only would one of their employees had allowed a thief to kill people, but the store would have been out quite a few hundred dollars on the gun alone, let alone the ammo.
Tell me, how is any of that preferable to what Crouch did? No sane person can honestly tell me it would be.
Now, even though Mr. Crouch is seemingly in some financial trouble, I doubt he will find it difficult to find a job. If an interviewer asks him for the reason for his termination and Crouch explains it to them, I honestly believe that would nearly guarantee Crouch a new job. Such courage should, and definitely will, be rewarded. Any employer would love to have someone like Crouch on their staff.
I say he will be rewarded simply out of knowing God’s character. He will strengthen Crouch and reward him for such courage, not to mention recompense him for losing his job and his house. I know for a fact that this will set Crouch up for something better in the future.
As for Academy Sports, while I do not live in Tallahassee, I would not shop at that store. Don’t misunderstand, I am not encouraging people to boycott every Academy Sports store. I’m just saying that, for that particular shop, I would hesitate to shop there.
Unfortunately, I don’t quite know what this whole ordeal will mean to other criminals. They might see this kind of situation as a golden opportunity to rob at least that particular store, knowing that their employees can’t do anything about it. Maybe nothing will really come of this, but I wouldn’t be surprised if other criminals were at least planning to do the same, seeing as there would be no repercussions coming from the store.
Then again, while I do not know the exact store policy, if the policy just talks about not putting your hands on “customers”, nothing says you can’t put your boot in their behinds.
I joke, of course, but still. What a crazy world we must live in for someone who would otherwise be seen as heroic to be fired for “violating store policy” in the act of literally rescuing people. Usually, I would try to come up with an analogy, but honestly nothing beats being fired over stopping someone from stealing a gun. You really have to wonder what was going through Crouch’s employer’s mind to arrive to the decision of suspension, let alone termination of employment.
I pray that Crouch will soon find another job with an employer that won’t punish their employees for doing the right thing, even if it violates company policy.
“Knowing that whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free.”
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