Dean Crouch, 32, was working at the Academy Sports store in Tallahassee on June 29 when a man tried to steal guns, ammunition, and a backpack, and ran from the store. Crouch subdued the man and held him until police arrived. Afterwards, the company suspended him pending an investigation, and he was ultimately fired. The company said they were forced to fire him because he violated corporate policy, which states that employees are not to lay their hands on any thief and to let law enforcement handle it. As a result of losing his job, Crouch says he has been forced to sell his house.
Most peoples’ first instinct is to criticize the company. They’d be wrong. Years ago, two Home Depot employees hopped in a car and chased a shoplifter. There was an accident, and innocent people were hurt. They successfully won a lawsuit against Home Depot. Since then, companies have made it a rule that store employees are not to take matters into their own hands. It’s cheaper to take the loss than to be sued. It’s perfectly reasonable. Crouch was undoubtedly informed of that policy during training and chose to ignore it.
The suspect also allegedly stole two weapons from a pawn shop earlier the same day, police said.
Hobbs claimed his client was placed on suspension in the days after the incident amid a policy that prohibits employees from placing their hands on customers while they’re in the store. Crouch lost his job on Tuesday, he said, adding that his client had been “suspended and terminated for preventing this thief from stealing this weapon.”
“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 told the Tallahassee Democrat.
Left without a job, Hobbs told Fox News that Crouch – who has a wife and two small children – put their home up for sale as “a direct result of him losing his job at Academy Sports.”
“They’re just scared,” he said.
I feel very sorry for the man and his family, but I can’t find fault with a company trying to avoid litigation.