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Old July 12, 2018, 08:01 PM   #1
Ignition Override
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Academy fires Asst. Mgr. who grabbed Handgun thief.

I've no luck with Copy and Paste, therefore, a few seconds on Google allows so you to read up on this incident in Tallahassee FL.

Police claim that the thug/thief planned to kill somebody with the handgun.

The...fired... Asst. Manager's family is forced to sell their house.

I called Academy G.O. at (281) 646-5081, but leaving a message was the only good option. If a huge flood of calls goes into their G.O., it could make a difference to the fired Asst. Manager, and allow common sense to dictate future situations.

I also called a local store where I've spend many hundreds of dollars. Had a polite chat with the Manager, and told him I realize that he didn't create the policy.

***Told people at both the G.O. and local level that I won't be back unless they rehire the guy in Tallahassee.*** Same total price to buy ammo online including shipping. "Gunbot".

Store policy matters not to me. The guy is a hero, and by Breaking policy (written) a handgun was kept away from a thief. With the constant need to do so much more of this, such hypocricy.
Apparently keeping guns away from thieves and thugs is Not as important as the policy of not touching any customer.

Last edited by JohnKSa; July 12, 2018 at 10:13 PM. Reason: Removed forum bashing. We don't do "forum wars" at TFL.
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Old July 12, 2018, 08:19 PM   #2
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Here's the link you accidently left out:
NRA calls this fired Academy manager a Hero.

Stopping a criminal with a gun is the subject of many threads here.

But for me the bottom line is, is there a need to stop such a person (shooting as they run by) or are they a common thief with an unloaded gun.
If they're shooting, I'd submit many on this board may consider engaging the threat. If they're just a thief, I'm not sure I want to engage with a firearm but might snap a picture.
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Old July 12, 2018, 08:20 PM   #3
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Fortunately this story is available online. The guy risked personal injury to stop a man who could have easily killed someone. If he had just let him go and he wound up shooting or killing anyone sure as anything there would be an outrage directed to Academy for not stopping him. At this point Academy shouldn't have to hire him back. I would think that other stores would be honored to have this guy working for them. Hopefully enough people will spread the word and he will soon be employed again.
Thanks for posting the story here. I am about to write my letter to Academy when finished and I hope other members here do the same.
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Old July 12, 2018, 08:40 PM   #4
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I just wrote a short, professional request to Academy mgmt on their customer contact page here https://academy.custhelp.com/app/ask
requesting they reconsider their actions.
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Old July 12, 2018, 08:58 PM   #5
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I don't understand how is losing his house when this just happened? And he has other job offers? And he has a Gofundme account with a couple of grand in it?
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Old July 12, 2018, 09:06 PM   #6
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While I applaud his heroics, he also clearly went against written company policy. A policy that is instituted in about every major store thanks to lawyers suing. Their policy is strictly a CYA against those frivolous (and expensive) lawsuits.
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Old July 12, 2018, 10:38 PM   #7
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TXAZ: Sorry, but I've had no luck doing links. Nothing was left out, because my attempts with the linking process never work.

Also wasn't aware of any GoFundMe account. Didn't see this last night or this afternoon.

As for written policy, a former coworker of my Dad (at TWA) had flown F-105s, and during a sortie over North Vietnam's Haiphong Harbor, the "Thud Driver" spotted the exact type of Soviet merchant ship which then often transported SA-2 missiles (possibly 57mm ammo etc), many of which had killed our flight crews.

Well, when he violated "written policy" by destroying much of that ship's cargo, he was kicked out of the AF but probably saved the lives of some US pilots, RIOs, WSOs, EWOs, + or - a "BUFF" or two.

Last edited by Ignition Override; July 12, 2018 at 10:53 PM.
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Old July 12, 2018, 11:30 PM   #8
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The story I read quoted the criminal telling police that he would steal again when he got out of jail, that he would steal guns, he was going to shoot someone, and they would see him on the news.

And he's on the street again, now, released pre-trial with restraining orders preventing him from going to Academy and another place where he stole a gun.

Wonder how well that's going to work??
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Old July 13, 2018, 06:27 AM   #9
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It's America he can steal guns practically anywhere. But if it were me I'd go to a different Academy. This time they won't stop him for sure.
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Old July 13, 2018, 09:03 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FITASC View Post
While I applaud his heroics, he also clearly went against written company policy. A policy that is instituted in about every major store thanks to lawyers suing. Their policy is strictly a CYA against those frivolous (and expensive) lawsuits.

Tort reform?
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Old July 13, 2018, 09:44 AM   #11
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1. What the Academy manager did was heroic.
2. What the Academy manager did violated his company policy.
3. Many companies have such "no chase, no restraint" policies because the $$$$ spent on employee injuries, defending lawsuits from wrongfully accused or injured suspects and other insurance payouts usually far exceed the $ value of the item being stolen.
4. Calling 911 to report a shoplifter/thief/robber and giving his description puts no employee at risk.
5. Well intended policies can't cover all situations. Surely Academy's "no touching the customer" policies wouldn't apply to an employee giving CPR to a customer.
6. Academy grossly overreacted in this case. A better response would have been to praise the heroics of their store manager and reinforce to all their store employees that the company does not endorse such actions due to the liability.
7. Academy missed a public relations bonanza and now finds itself waist deep in a PR outhouse.
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Old July 13, 2018, 09:45 AM   #12
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Quote:
ATN082268 Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by FITASC View Post
While I applaud his heroics, he also clearly went against written company policy. A policy that is instituted in about every major store thanks to lawyers suing. Their policy is strictly a CYA against those frivolous (and expensive) lawsuits.

Tort reform?
The best "tort reform" is a jury.
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Old July 13, 2018, 09:57 AM   #13
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Old July 13, 2018, 12:32 PM   #14
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Unfortunately I think Academy made the right call. I have some friends who work undercover in Walmarts. They push a shopping cart around all day pretending to shop while observing customers. They are also in contact with security viewing CCTV.

Their policy is to observe and report, nothing else. They tell me that over 90% of thieves are caught. Many before they get out the door. When security cameras pick up something police are called and are quite often waiting in the parking lot to get them as they come out the door. If not cameras can get a tag number. Even without a tag number police can usually look at security tape and make a positive ID. For most thieves it ain't their 1st time.

When employees try to detain thieves lots of bad things can happen. What if the employee is wrong about the suspected thief, or tries to detain the wrong person. That has happened before and people have pulled guns on store employees who wrongly tried to detain them. What if the thief pulls a gun and innocent shoppers are hit by gunfire. Thieves being chased have ran over innocent shoppers in parking lots trying to get away. If anyone is injured, even the bad guy, there will be a lawsuit and the store will lose.

Quote:
quoted the criminal telling police that he would steal again when he got out of jail, that he would steal guns, he was going to shoot someone, and they would see him on the news.

And he's on the street again, now, released pre-trial with restraining orders preventing him from going to Academy and another place where he stole a gun.
That is a breakdown of the justice system. After making those remarks he shouldn't be on the streets. But I can't blame Academy for that.

FWIW, while I think Academy made the correct call, the manager won't have any problems finding another job.
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Old July 13, 2018, 01:07 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmr40
Their policy is to observe and report, nothing else. They tell me that over 90% of thieves are caught. Many before they get out the door. When security cameras pick up something police are called and are quite often waiting in the parking lot to get them as they come out the door. If not cameras can get a tag number. Even without a tag number police can usually look at security tape and make a positive ID. For most thieves it ain't their 1st time.
I have no doubt that you are correct and that there are lots of good reasons for a retail employer to command employees not to try to thwart mere theft with force.

However, once I overcome the ample foresight of my inner lawyer, what distinguishes this episode is that the former employee couldn't have known this was just a theft. He hears his subordinate, an employee bound by the same policy, yell "Stop that man!" and observes a man running with a firearm. I put myself in that situation and wonder whether I would stand there looking stupid as a man with a gun runs outside to do whatever people with a gun in hand do. Would my first reaction be to ponder store theft policy?

Waiving a policy of non-intervention for publicly identified heroism creates an impermissible incentive for employees to intervene, but that doesn't make this fellow's reaction unreasonable.
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Old July 13, 2018, 04:35 PM   #16
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https://www.tallahassee.com/story/ne...aha/782368002/
Quote:
“I am pleased to report that the head of Academy Sports + Outdoors stores spoke with Mr. Crouch and offered him his job back and Mr. Crouch accepted,” his attorney Ryan Hobbs said.

A company spokeswoman confirmed Crouch's reemployment but had no further comment.
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Old July 13, 2018, 04:58 PM   #17
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Glad the employee got his job back.

But I think stores should tell their employees
they are expected to stop thievery.

And if said employee gets his lunch handed
to him, then tough petunias. The employee
is not fired, he's just dead or seriously
maimed for life.

Maybe the store will give a big settlement
to the employee's family or see that he gets
medical treatment for six months.
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Old July 13, 2018, 05:22 PM   #18
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It would be interesting to know the complete story, that is if there is really more. By getting rehired, chances are real good there's more to the story then the CBS article says there is. Did the thief point the gun at customers? Did the thief point the gun at the assistant manager? Did the thief yell out that he's going to kill people? All bets are off if someone with ill intent points a gun at me.
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Old July 13, 2018, 07:33 PM   #19
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Quote:
It would be interesting to know the complete story, that is if there is really more. By getting rehired, chances are real good there's more to the story then the CBS article says there is.
The only thing relevant to being rehired that isn't in the article is likely the public outcry for this guy being a hero and the bad press Academy received. It would not matter if the thief pointed the gun at anyone or yelled anything or not. The manager tackled the guy which was against policy.

Doing the right thing isn't always congruent with keeping your job. Many people understand this. Many people do not.
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Old July 13, 2018, 10:44 PM   #20
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Maybe some of the phone calls dialed in yesterday by many of us made a difference.

Possibly it would have been best to have allowed the thief to have escaped the store, and if later a child had been mistakenly killed by the thug's gun....no sweat.
No worries.

Last edited by Ignition Override; July 14, 2018 at 03:59 PM.
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Old July 14, 2018, 09:24 AM   #21
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This guy was not a police officer, not even store security, took his life in his own hands when he chased this guy, FOR WHAT??
I'm glad he got his job back but chasing a bad guy ain't exactly smart.
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Old July 14, 2018, 09:36 AM   #22
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Like dogtown_tom suggested, Academy had a PR opportunity and blew it. HR can be so blind at times.

There was a HR lady in San Francisco (private sector) who walked into a restroom and saw a man atop of a woman strangling her. The HR lady tore the towel dispenser off the wall and beaned the assailant on the head with it. The top HR person heard about it and asked the corporate attorney if they, following their zero tolerance towards violence in the workplace, should fire the HR person/heroine. The attorney was shocked. Fire her? Give her an award! HR aren't the smartest bunch around.
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Old July 14, 2018, 11:49 AM   #23
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To me, there's more than a bit of difference between someone stealing a blender or DVD movies from a store than stealing a PISTOL!!

Most stolen merchandise certainly isn't worth risking life and limb to stop. A gun, on the other hand, is a much different matter. I don't care what employee rules say, and even if the actual law doesn't require a response, there is the moral "law" that does.

The lesson is clearly illustrated in Marvel's Spiderman. (and it doesn't involve Spidey's superpowers, either).

young Peter Parker could have stopped a fleeing robber. He didn't. (somewhat understandable, as the guy robbed had just cheated Parker) Parker says "not my problem", and the robber gets away.

A little bit later that robber carjacks, and shoots Parker's beloved Uncle Ben, who dies in Peter's arms. This loss turns Parker into the crimefighter Spiderman.

Point here is, because he did nothing, when he could have done something, other, innocent, people were killed.

I would have fired the guy if he put himself at risk trying to stop the theft of a TV or a phone. For stopping the theft of a gun, I'd give him a raise!!
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Old July 14, 2018, 12:46 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 44 AMP
To me, there's more than a bit of difference between someone stealing a blender or DVD movies from a store than stealing a PISTOL!!

Most stolen merchandise certainly isn't worth risking life and limb to stop. A gun, on the other hand, is a much different matter. I don't care what employee rules say, and even if the actual law doesn't require a response, there is the moral "law" that does.
This point seems to be getting overlooked by a lot of people.

Sure, a DVD, a toaster, even a wide-screen television ... let him walk and call the cops. A gun is a different animal. This is another example of how zero tolerance policies have come to overshadow common sense.
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Old July 14, 2018, 05:09 PM   #25
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This is a dramatic example of "written policy"....Imagine an F-18 with a few laser-guided bombs at a fuel conservation altitude, watching insurgents carrying RPGs or other weapons near a road used by US or coalition troops.
The Marine or SEAL on the ground watches everything, knows that the nearby mud hut has no signs of women or children.

A military attorney in Wash. DC must approve the strike. But it takes so long that the insurgents are gone when the approval is transmitted to the "Hornet Driver" (F-18 pilot).

Apparently, any level of micro-management is a good thing (?), when a few soldiers on patrol are hit by RPGs the next day. Not many **local** judgement calls are allowed.

Last edited by Ignition Override; July 14, 2018 at 10:56 PM.
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