Store Manager Intercepts Gun Thief. Two Weeks Later Store Fires Him Over It.

Tallahassee Police Department

In late June, a sporting goods store employee in Tallahassee, Florida, detained a man who was in the process of allegedly stealing a gun.

On Tuesday he was fired over the incident.

The Tallahassee Democrat reports that on June 29, Dean Crouch, 32, was working as an assistant manager at the Academy Sports store in Tallahassee when suspect Jason White allegedly tried to steal a .40 caliber handgun and matching ammunition. According to the Tallahassee Police Department, only hours before his attempt at Academy Sports, White stole two handguns from Cash America Pawn.

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.

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," his attorney, Ryan Hobbs, told Fox News. Hobbs claims Crouch was placed on suspension after the incident because of a store policy that bars employees from placing their hands on customers while they’re in the store.

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 concluded, “They’re just scared.”

Crouch hasn’t filed a lawsuit; he is busy looking for a new job. Hobbs said of Academy Sports, “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. … This is not something that happens for Mr. Crouch in his everyday life. 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.”

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