A sports store manager was fired for tackling a fleeing thief who stole a gun with the intent to shoot someone with it.
Dean Crouch was working at Academy Sports in Tallahassee, Florida, on June 29 when Jason White asked to see a .40 caliber Glock pistol.
Once the suspect had the gun in his hand he allegedly ran towards the door pursued by staff shouting ‘stop that guy’.
Dean Crouch, 32, (pictured with his family) was was fired for tackling a fleeing thief who stole a gun with the intent to shoot someone with it
Mr Crouch, 32, and another employee tackled White to the ground and recovered the gun, five boxes of ammunition, and two magazines in a stolen backpack.
They locked White in the store’s office and called police who arrested him when they arrived and charged him with grand theft of a firearm.
Police said White hours earlier stole two handguns from a pawn shop, one of which was found in his car after his arrest.
White admitted to stealing the guns and threatened to shoot people with them, according to a police report seen by the Tallahassee Democrat.
‘He repeatedly said ‘I stole and I admit to it’ and ‘I will steal again when I get out of jail,’ they wrote in the report.
Jason White was charged with grand theft of a firearm after allegedly running for the door with the Glock .40 pistol last month
White allegedly told the officers his family was being threatened and he wanted the guns to ‘kill him’.
Mr Couch was suspended soon after due to a policy that prohibits staff putting their hands on a customer while they are in the store, and fired on Tuesday.
His lawyer Ryan Hobbs said the father-of-two likely saved lives with his actions, given White’s alleged intent to use the gun to kill.
‘Instead of treating him like the hero he is, they terminated his employment effective immediately because he put his hands on Mr. White,’ he said.
Mr Hobbs said his client had to put his house up for sale because he couldn’t support his young family after losing his job.
They were considering filing a lawsuit for wrongful termination, but were focused on ‘protecting his rights’ and finding him a new job.
Dean Crouch was working at Academy Sports in Tallahassee, Florida, at the time and was fired by the company on Tuesday
Academy Corp said Mr Crouch’s suspension and firing were handled according to company policy.
‘While the incident ended without injury, actions inconsistent with corporate policies were taken. We addressed the matter with the local store and individuals involved,’ it said.
Mr Hobbs said the company should change its policy instead of punishing employees who were just trying to do the right thing.
‘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, he said.