Academy Sports manager fired after tackling fleeing gun theft suspect (VIDEO)
Instead of accolades, a Florida sporting good store manager was given his walking papers after he stopped a man from running out of the store with a stolen handgun.
Dean Crouch, 32, sprang into action last month to physically stop a man later identified as Jason White from leaving his store with a .40-caliber Glock he was looking at but did not pay for, the Tallahassee Democrat reports. White, 24, who had earlier that day stolen two other handguns from an area pawn shop, had also attempted to steal two magazines for the Glock and some ammunition while at Academy.
Although White was subsequently taken into custody by Tallahassee Police and is facing multiple felony charges, it was Crouch who was caught in the fallout over the incident and lost his job as an assistant manager.
“Academy has decided to, instead of treating him like the hero he is, they terminated his employment effective immediately because he put his hands on Mr. White,” said Crouch’s attorney, Ryan Hobbs.
“Our world is pretty much turned upside down after this,” said Crouch, who was let go in a conference call after a one-week suspension. “We had to put our house on the market because of this.”
Meanwhile, White — who reportedly told police that he took the guns because wanted to kill a person who had threatened him and still wanted to shoot “someone” — is currently at large on a $5,000 bond and an order to seek a mental evaluation.
Marion Hammer, former National Rifle Association president and current head its Florida state affiliate organization, said the move by the big box retailer was “insanity,” and that Crouch should be celebrated for stopping a criminal before he could commit more crimes.
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