Academy Sports is at it again. First pulling black rifles from the shelves, now the Tallahassee Democrat is reporting that Dean Crouch, an Academy Sports manager who tackled a fleeing gun thief, has been fired.
While I understand many companies have a hands-off policy when it comes to shoplifters, this particular case was a bit out of the norm. It isn’t like the guy was stealing shoes or a volleyball.
How it Went Down
According to tallahassee.com, a man now identified as Jason White, 24, stole two guns from a Cash America Pawn on June 29th. Apparently, he asked to see a .380 and a .45 ACP pistol. White then picked both pistols up and ran out the door without paying for them (no indication if he filled out a 4473 …. ) and fled in a silver Toyota Corolla.
Four hours later White walked into the Academy Sports and asked to see a .40 caliber GLOCK, then decided to attempt to book it out the door with a backpack, ammunition, and the GLOCK.
That was about the time that manager Dean Crouch comes into our story. According to court records, Crouch saw the transaction at the counter and tackled the would-be thief with the help of another employee whose employment status is unknown.
What did they recover? A stolen backpack, five boxes of .40 caliber ammunition, two magazines for the GLOCK, and the handgun that White attempted to abscond with.
Store employees detained White in the store’s office until police arrived. Court records state that White admitted to stealing the gun and threatened to shoot people with it while in the office. White claimed that an unknown person was threatening him and his family.
He intended to use the gun to “kill him.”
Officers wrote, “He repeatedly said ‘I stole and I admit to it’ and ‘I will steal again when I get out of jail,'”
Crouch’s attorney says that Academy placed him on suspension after the incident, citing a company policy that prohibits employees from laying their hands on customers inside the store.
Again, I reiterate, it was a freakin’ gun.
Fast forward to July 10th and Crouch was informed by his now-former employer that they decided to fire him for stopping the bad guy from escaping with the gun. Crouch is reportedly considering filing a lawsuit for wrongful termination according to his attorney.
Moral of the Story
Don’t be the guy who tackles a gun thief if you want to keep your job at a national sporting goods store chain.
Do be that guy if you want to do the right thing.
Read the full story over at the Tallahassee Democrat.