When Academy Sports manager Dean Crouch stopped a man from stealing a .40-caliber pistol, some saw him as a hero. According to the Tallahassee Democrat, his employer saw it another way.
Academy Sports reportedly fired Crouch because he violated a store policy forbidding employees from touching customers.
“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 [the suspect],” Crouch's attorney, Ryan Hobbs, told the Tallahassee Democrat.
Acadamy Sports refused to speak on the matter, saying it does not discuss personnel issues publicly.
Many saw Crouch's termination by Acadamy Sports as shameful:
A truly sickening story. https://t.co/BD0Q57rFki
— James Woods (@RealJamesWoods) July 12, 2018
Is anyone in Tallahassee, FL hiring? This father of two deserves a job after being unfairly fired. Despicable! https://t.co/xadeAxcJJW
— Julie Banderas (@JulieBanderas) July 12, 2018
Some businesses in the Tallahassee area have reached out to Crouch with job offers:
If anyone knows Dean Crouch- the Academy sports manager that was fired after tackling a guy who stole a gun and threatened to shoot people - have him message us. Happy to try and get him some shifts to help him support his family in the transition.
— Madison Social (@MadisonSocial) July 11, 2018
Just read about Dean Crouch. Dean, you passed my job interview. Someone that puts others before himself, and is willing to risk his life for the safety and well being of others is the kind of servant leadership that I look for. #academysports made a terrible decision
— Nathan Mackin (@natemackin) July 12, 2018
Crouch's attorney told the Tallahassee Democrat that his client is interviewing with Bass Pro Shops in Tallahassee, a store located just one block from his old employers.
Hobbs expressed his frustration with Acadamy Sports to the Tallahassee Democrat, stating that the store is more concerned with lawsuits than lives saved.
“My instincts tell me they are concerned more about people like [the suspect] 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,” Hobbs said.