Academy Sports + Outdoor Re-Hires Fired Manager Who Tackled Gun Thief

Academy Sports Outdoor Re-Hires Manager Fired

courtesy tallahassee.com

Texas-based Academy Sports + Outdoors underwent a torrent of bad publicity earlier this week when they fired the manager of one of their Florida stores after he stopped a man from stealing a gun. The manager, Dean Crouch, saw Jason White take off with a .40 caliber GLOCK and went after him.

Crouch, who court records say observed the transaction at the counter, and another employee tackled and subdued White at the exit doors and recovered the gun, a stolen backpack, five boxes of ammunition and two magazines for the Glock.

But no good deed goes unpunished. Academy fired Crouch for violating company policy.

That officious attitude didn’t go over terribly well with the buying public, though. Academy was deluged with criticism over the dismissal. Now, however, the company has had a change of heart.

Dean Crouch has been rehired as a manager at the Tallahassee location of Academy Sports + Outdoors after being fired earlier this week.

Crouch spoke to the head of the Texas-based outdoors store Friday and has been reemployed, according to his attorney.

“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.

All’s well that ends well.

comments

  1. avatar Jay in Florida says:

    Same stupid policy existed at Toys R Us when I worked for them.
    Let the shoplifter go. But if an associate took as little as a battery for a display without signing for it. They could and would fire you.

    Now this guy is supposed to let some body walk off with a gun mags and ammo???
    What stupidity.
    Good thing there are no Academy Sports near me. One less customer for them to worry about.

    1. avatar John J. McCarthy, Jr. says:

      Retail stores with “let the thief go” policy are worried about some crud getting hurt by an employee and the resulting law suit.

      1. avatar Khiem says:

        What if someone is killed or injured with that stolen gun, shouldn’t Academy be sued for “allowing” the thief to take the weapon without any EFFORT to STOP him?

      2. avatar Michale says:

        Q? Is the perp black, or Mexican, or another color of the human animal.Thanks Obama for all the 8 wonder years of homier adversity.

    2. avatar Michale says:

      Same with some WALMART Stores too. In S NV where I live if the strip the scanner alarm goes off, and you make it to the; parking lot, tho all caught on Cameras in the store and in; parking lot they have a right not to be asked for a receipt outside of the store. It’s called harassment without proof or bodily trespassing. Go figure.
      tho WM own’s the whole property If it is food you are let go if it is Merchandise you may be let go. if Caught on the run but once you get outside it is a Human right deal not petty theft.

  2. avatar Ralph says:

    So after humiliating Mr. Crouch and showing him the door, Academy generously offers him his job back.

    No raise, No apology. No “atta boy.”

    Be grateful, wage slave, that your master is so generous.

    1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

      Putting myself in his shoes, I’d likely take the job back.
      Shopping the market with that résumé and the firing might be tough. (Though I’m not sure as I’ve never been fired. But the publicity could hinder future employment.)

      That, and knowing I did a good thing and the press knowing that bad guys will get tackled. I think it’s a good thing.

      As an aside, it kinda sucks to need to work for somebody. Most of us have to do it. Myself included. Not too much longer though.

      1. avatar Ralph says:

        I don’t know Mr. Crouch’s circumstances. Maybe he can’t afford time off. Maybe he has a many years with Academy and didn’t want to endanger his retirement. Maybe he likes the company. Who knows?

        But what I do know is that after years of too many American workers chasing too few jobs, the situation is now reversed. There are lots of jobs and not enough workers to fill them. This is an historic labor shortage and a real opportunity.

        Employee turnover is the highest it’s been in a decade because workers are leaving jobs for better jobs with more pay. This trend should continue for some time to come.

        I don’t know what I would do in Mr. Crouch’s shoes, but what I would probably do is take my job back while I was looking for better one for an employer that wouldn’t stab me in the back.

        1. avatar jwm says:

          Trump has been good for America. He will be in 2020, also.

        2. avatar Huntmaster says:

          Retirement……! Do you really think they offer a retirement? Academy Sports? Are you kidding? I’ld be surprised if they even offer a 401k. If they do I bet they don’t match anything.

      2. avatar Button Gwinnett says:

        Corporate HR never tells a reference seeker whether the employee quit, was fired, or just never showed up one day. You could get sued for recommending a bad employee, or for badmouthing a good one.

    2. avatar Jonathan-Houston says:

      Very few people can afford to be out of work for very long without the bills piling up. That’s without a controversy of any particular kind hanging over your head. His first responsibility is to his family. He can quietly seek other employment at his own pace, on his own terms, tomorrow. Today, the rent is due and the baby needs diapers. The revolution can wait a minute or two.

      1. avatar Joe in San Antonio says:

        Mouths to feed, roofs to provide can definitely hinder the take over the world attitude.

    3. avatar Bloving says:

      Some of the comments here, at Fox, and elsewhere seemed to be angry at the management that made the decision to fire him as if they chuckled gleefully as they showed him the door… very likely the person who gave him the news had a terrible day as did the immediate supervisor above that person. They were having to make an unpleasant decision based on an inflexible policy – it is fortunate that some folks higher up the pay scale made the decision to rehire – likely with the caveat that there would be a permanent notation on his employment record, maybe even a probationary period to observe.
      As I said the other day, I’m not mad at Academy, the decision still sucked though and just because we accept something bad doesn’t mean we like it. I’m just happy he’s back to work again – that’s a decision I can totally get behind.
      🤠

      1. avatar Ansel Hazen says:

        Me too and I imagine Academy will blow this opportunity to score HUGE points within our community.

        Just imagine if they released a statement praising Dean and his quick thinking. And then publicly derided their insurance company if that’s who’s responsible for the stupid decision.

    4. avatar Rattlerjake says:

      As a minimum he should be paid for the time lost due to being out of work. I also wouldn’t have accepted their rehiring unless they accept that I would do it again if the need arose!

  3. avatar Kenneth says:

    Justice wins another one against the tyrants. A little one, to be sure. But still a win.

  4. avatar Cooter E Lee says:

    I made a personal decision after 9/11 that I would berserker ATTACK no matter the odds or weapons employed against me if I felt my life or innocent bystander’s lives were at risk.

    Dean Crouch is an American hero and embodies my idea of the proper response in that the perpetrator had high potential to cause harm to Mr. Crouch and others considering he stole firearms, magazines, and ammunition.

    Good on Academy Sports for making a policy exception that was warranted and Mr. Crouch for taking his job back. They should have never terminated him for doing the right thing.

    1. Now, whom ever made the decision to fire him should be fired.

  5. avatar Zookeeper says:

    My X works for Lowe’s and while we were married she was the HR manager for a new store. Believe it or not the company policy was they had rather take the loss than have bad press. You would not believe how many riding mowers were stolen by people simply pulling up and driving them on a trailer. I fact one guy loaded up and took four before they finally called the police. No matter what you call it “shrink, loss or theft” it is a major part of the reason prices are so high. Any company worth their salt should applaud and reward people like Dean Crouch.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      Shrink doesn’t matter if the customers are willing to pay for it. A certain level of shrink is built into the price of goods. It’s only excess shrink that causes problems.

  6. avatar Jack A Furbush says:

    The manager of any retail store has a LEGAL obligation to take any reasonably safe action to prevent the theft of any firearm in his inventory. I’ve managed 3 private gun shop’s in my time on earth. I’ve always instructed my employees not to take any physical actions they would not take to prevent the loss of their own property. While I certainly value them over any piece of inventory I also would take no disciplinary action against them for doing their job. Our insurance dose cover as well as workmen comp, Any injury or death for such an occurrence as it is part of their duties. These chain stores do have policy not so much for the safety of employees as much as to avoid potential litigation by the offender. While the store manager did violate this policy, he did so in good faith trying to protect both the company from a larger potential law suit if the gun stolen ended up being used in a homicide. He also exorsized his duty to try and protect the community from the dangers of one more gun on the street in the wrong hands. It comes down to the legal delema of competing harms. If you don’t know what that is look it up. I personally would never except an enjoyment from this company again

  7. avatar FedUp says:

    1. I would think Academy would face a whole lot more lawsuit risk for handing a pistol to a criminal and watching him walk out the door than for having a manager tackle a gun thief.
    The former could cost millions in wrongful death suits. And PLCAA isn’t going to protect them if the transfer wasn’t legal. I’m sure Crouch figured the same as me, that he was protecting Academy from liability not exposing them to it.

    2. It was foolish to take the job back if it was a simple rehire without any incentives. Earlier news stories said that he was getting unsolicited job offers from other employers. I’m sure at least one of them had to have been better than working in his old job for an employer which took him back against its will and is unlikely to ever give him a promotion or bonus again.

    3. The firing was a true display of Academy’s character.
    The rehiring was just a response to public pressure.
    The firing merits scorn. The rehiring does nothing to negate the fact of the firing in my opinion.

    1. avatar Jonathan-Houston says:

      How.would you know he was a criminal and not just another law abiding customer before handing him the firearm?

      1. avatar FedUp says:

        You’d know when he headed for the door with the gun in one hand and a backpack full of stolen ammo in the other. And that’s when Crouch acted. If Crouch had failed to act, then Academy would indeed have been guilty of willfully arming a criminal.

    2. avatar Aaron M. Walker says:

      I agree with most of your comment. I certainly wouldn’t go back to an employer that ” TOOK A BIG SHIT ON ME.” But, I’m sure there are other mitigating circumstances at play…I’m sure the guys lawyer wasn’t every good and said this is a better option…Or the company made a “private settlement between the mgr./ employee…” For money 💰 💰, or some kind of dispensation for the incident to go away…Most “Big Box ” retailer’s do this behind closed doors if the heat is to great, or it exposes THEM to the “light of justice.” THEY choose to sometimes act in such a manner in the event of being faced with legal action for employee injuries, crime, etc…Regarding pending litiagtion…

  8. avatar Stereodude says:

    I hope he’s looking for a job with a better employer unless he got some sort of sizeable settlement in addition to his job back.

  9. avatar Phil LA says:

    Thats what happens when lawyers and insurance agents take over big business. Good on Academy for recognizing their mistake and the upcoming shit-storm.

  10. avatar former water walker says:

    No atta boy or pat on the back from me. You still suck Academy. Since the nearest store is some 200 miles from me the point is moot. Here’s hoping our hero got a better job!!!

  11. avatar Arandom Dude says:

    I understand a general policy of letting shoplifters go, but when the item in question is a deadly weapon, it seems obvious to make an exception.

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      I fully agree. Most stock merchandise its not worth it, but deadly weapons are another thing altogether.

  12. avatar m. says:

    If Ac-Sports was not so so paralyzed by the possibility of an “e-qual-ity” lawsuit (i.e., lie-whore enrichment process) they could have done right the first time.

  13. avatar Enufistoomuch says:

    While I am pleased to hear he got his job back, Academy has still not handled this properly. There needs to be a very public apology. The kind that states how very wrong they were and why. There needs to be cash money attached to that apology which is above and beyond any lost wages.

    That’s the problem with companies that behave badly. They rarely show that they understand the wrong they did or that they are truly sorry. They only show they recognize the public relations error. .

  14. avatar Chris T in KY says:

    When I worked at seven eleven if we did not catch shoplifters, we were blamed for the loss of inventory. If you tried to stop them you got fired. This is why conservatives complain about a loss of morality in the country. Unfortunately most people always assume morality has to with sex. Morality has very little to do with sex.

  15. avatar John J. McCarthy, Jr. says:

    So the guy who changed the Coke formula ended up at Academy Sports and Outdoors in Texas.

    Sometimes I would wonder about that guy.

  16. avatar ozzallos says:

    He’ll be phased out at a later date for “reasons” once this has all died down. His ability to promote upward is certainly going to be squashed internally.

  17. avatar Binder says:

    I think one thing everyone missed here was “and ANOTHER employee tackled and subdued White at the exit doors” If Crouch had tacked the guy that is one thing, if he is telling other employees to do the same, now he is putting Academy at risk for injury to the other employee. So if that part is true and Crouch is not even tackle the guy, then what?

  18. avatar Drew Hollinger says:

    Academy
    When you have polices like this you put out a big sign saying open for business go in a steal all you want.
    Why don’t you have a security officer there to stop the stealing. Allow the security to stop the thief any way he can.
    I owned my own retail stores and I do understand your situation and it is easy to solve. Make all employees sign a release stating if they go after and stop a person they do so at there own risk, and the company will not be responsible for any injuries or liabilities incurred. A lawyer can right a bullet prof clause for this. Then you might also get a big reduction in inventory loss.

    All of this liberal I am afraid of getting sued crap has got to stop or we as a country are dead.
    WAKE UP AMERICA. STAND UP FOR JUSTICE AND STOP ALL THIS POLITICAL CORRECT CRAP.

  19. avatar Matt says:

    From the insurance side, letting the thief go is lowest ultimate cost and risk for a commercial policyholder. I’ve handled severely injured bystanders, petty theives (kids) get ribs busted and lungs punctured, etc. Yes, as the adjuster I settled them. Like anything, a double-edged sword, even though it is HARD to stomach. You watch, since a precedent has been set, other less noble acting employees will use this example to argue the code of conduct/best practices isn’t enforced unequivocally and score compensation of some sort. That is what will really piss me off.

    If it was your store, your bottom line, what would your policy be?

  20. avatar borg says:

    The policy to cause an illegal transfer by handing it to the thief and allowing him to leave with is likely illegal since I am pretty sure it is illegal to transfer a gun or cause a gun to be transferred to a prohibited person. If they allow thieves o walk off with guns in violation of transfer laws they should then have their FFL license revoked permanently.

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