Wal-Mart fires employee for chasing after thief

yizuman

Active Member

Josh Rutner said he was just doing his job as a Wal-Mart "asset protection officer" earlier this month when he chased a knife-wielding theft suspect across the store parking lot.

The man, later identified as Marc Ash, was arrested by Ocala police and the merchandise was recovered.

The next day, Wal-Mart fired Rutner.

Rutner said it boiled down to doing what was right or following policy. For him, it was an easy choice.

"I couldn't let him get away," Rutner said. "That's wrong."

But Michelle Bradford, a Wal-Mart Stores Inc. spokeswoman, said the store's no-chase policy is clear.

"We take the safety and security of our customers and associates very seriously," she said. "There are specific instructions as to what an associate can and can't do during a shoplifting episode."

According to Ocala police reports and Rutner's account, the trouble happened at the Wal-Mart on Southwest 19th Avenue Road near the Paddock Mall. Ash picked up a pack of golf balls, valued at $42.98, and put them in his pants.

Ash then took the golf balls to another section, left them, and ate deli chicken without paying, Rutner said.

Rutner said he watched Ash put the golf balls back in his pants and head out the front of the store.

After radioing for assistance, Rutner and two other employees tackled the man outside the food center doors.

Rutner worked for Wal-Mart for nearly four months, he said. He'd done plenty of stops before.

He wasn't expecting Ash to pull a knife, slash at his face and take off running, Rutner said.

"I felt now that he was a danger to the public and the city," he said. "If he'd pull a knife on two security guards, he'd pull a knife on anyone."

Rutner attempted to hit the man with a shopping cart, he said.

Customer Franchesca J. Marie told authorities she followed Ash into the parking lot from inside her car. She told him to stop and to put down the knife, which officials say she then picked up and threw in the middle of the road.

Police arrested Ash, who was charged with robbery with a deadly weapon and aggravated assault.

Rutner returned to work the next day.

"I was doing my normal routine," he said. "Nobody said anything."

Around lunch time, he was called into a manager's office. A corporate representative from Arkansas was waiting.

"They said this is a non-rehirable offense," he said. "At the age of 65, I can't even come back and become a greeter."

Bradford, the Wal-Mart spokeswoman, declined to comment on Rutner's potential for rehiring.

Rutner said he knew Wal-Mart policy prohibits employees from going after suspects armed with a weapon, but there was no time to think about the consequences.

Rutner turned in his keys, security codes and badge.

"I didn't get hurt. They got their merchandise," he said. "And yet I got fired."

Rutner said he was required to give a deposition Tuesday in Ash's court case.

Ash remains in the Marion County Jail in lieu of $57,000 bail.
Source: Wal-Mart fires employee for chasing after thief | Ocala.com | Star-Banner | Ocala, FL

Another reason why walfart sucks.

Yiz
 

souggy

New Member
Even bodyguards and bouncers are advised not to go after thieves and to let the police handle it.

Why? Companies don't want to cover the insurance cost of their injured employees if those people happen to carry pepper spray, a knife or piece of glass on them. To them, it's not worth chasing a criminal for a $100 item over a multi-million lawsuit or insurance coverage that would cost them a few thousands.

This is not limited to Wal-Mart. Almost every company and business I know of have the "don't chase criminals" policy with the consequence of being fired, suspended or no pay.

Addendum:
One of my friends in Edmonton advised me not to chase thieves, even if my strong sense of justice prevails. Why? He used to be the same way when he was working security, until he ended up in the OR with a piece of glass shard in his ribs. Now he just let the police handle it and tell the "newbie" security guys to stand back.

And he's a big bloke. About 6'2", 250-300lbs.
 

PowerON

Active Member
if employee chase and got shot. Wal-Mart had nothing to do with it. They whistle and ignore it.
 
R

rockdrummer

Guest
I say the dude did what was right. If the dude got hurt, Walmart would not be liable because he broke policy. I don't condone going after armed people but there are many cases where doing something is exactly the right thing to do. The guy with the knife could have eaisly held up a mother with child at knife point to get their car or something like that. I say right on to that guy that stood up and did what HE felt was the right thing to do. He didn't risk anyones safety but his own and the end result was a good one.
 

sara1981

Well-Known Member
mostly walmart security always careful on their jobs and never steal everythings but this man need know best..

my brother's friend also work at walmart and he got fired for without pay also caught by security camera tv and he no longer work at walmart.

i respect walmart policy for hire and mostly walmart manager cant offer rehire jobs because fired or if moves another states have same jobs can send resume jobs.
 
I agree with Souggy's points. A lot of companies do have this policy in place. Very few jobs are worth risking one's life combating an armed individual. The exceptions being law enforcement, military, etc.
 

rockin'robin

Well-Known Member
I say the dude did what was right. If the dude got hurt, Walmart would not be liable because he broke policy. I don't condone going after armed people but there are many cases where doing something is exactly the right thing to do. The guy with the knife could have eaisly held up a mother with child at knife point to get their car or something like that. I say right on to that guy that stood up and did what HE felt was the right thing to do. He didn't risk anyones safety but his own and the end result was a good one.
Well said!...I couldn't have said it better.
 

Steel X

Well-Known Member
*shrugs* he got guts to capture that guy, even thou he had a knife. He REALLY had alot of guts to do that.

Wal mart should've been grateful for him that he is okay and that they got the stuff back that he stole and yet, they did it the opposite.

He lost his job. Just for trying to help the store...what's wrong with that?

Fuck wal mart. I'm glad I quit there a long time ago and I dont intend to work at any wal marts like that again.
 

saywhatkid

Huked on fonix werx!
Premium Member
Is a pound of meat worth a man's life?

A friend of mine painted that very question (see above) on the side of his car.
Here is the story behind it. When I was in my late teens, there was a young man that was shot and killed by police for stealing a package of lunch meat from a C-store near my home. He refused to surrender to the police in a field at night, so he was shot.

I understand Wally-World's position on this. They don't want to deal with lawsuits or worker's compensation. They need Josh to stock shelves. Those shelves can't stock themselves. Profits need to increase. Cannot afford to have absentee employees, regardless of reason.

Better to let police do their jobs. :eek3:

Somehow, I bet this ends up being a good thing for Josh Rutner.
 

sequoias

Active Member
Premium Member
Well....if he catches the theif then he saves the day getting a criminal off the streets. How does that sound? Idiot Walmart. He risks his life to do that. Police can't be there instantly, stupid, stupid!
 

saywhatkid

Huked on fonix werx!
Premium Member
Nothing like veiled ageism. :roll:
They used to like hiring the aged, but they had reasons.
Source: Big Box: Walmart Took Secret Life Insurance Policies Out On Employees, Collected After Their Death

Walmart Took Secret Life Insurance Policies Out On Employees, Collected After Their Death
By Meg Marco, 10:19 AM on Tue Jul 3 2007

According to CourtTV and the Tampa Tribune, Walmart has been secretly taking out life insurance policies on its employees and cashing them in when said employees pass away. That's what happened to Karen Armatrout and her family, according to a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court. From the Tampa Tribune:


Armatrout was one of about 350,000 employees Wal-Mart secretly insured nationwide, said Texas attorney Michael D. Myers, who estimated the company collected on 75 to 100 policies involving Florida employees who died.

Myers is seeking to make the Armatrout lawsuit a class-action case on behalf of the estates of all the Florida employees who died while unwittingly insured by Wal-Mart.

"Creepy's a good word for it," Myers said. "If you ask the executives that decided to buy these policies and the insurance companies that sold them, they would say this was designed to create tax benefits for the company, which would use the benefits for benevolent purposes such as buying employee medical benefits.

"If you asked me, I would say they did it to make more money."

According to the lawsuit, the policies were for $50,000 - $80,0000 and were taken out on any employee from 18-70 who participated in Walmart's health plan. Walmart stopped taking out the policies in 1995, but continued collecting the money on employees and ex-employees who passed away. Walmart canceled the policies altogether in 2000. Creepy is right. According to CourtTV, only six states, Delaware, Georgia, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Vermont, allow companies to take out life insurance policies on their employees without notifying them.
 

Steel X

Well-Known Member
They BETTER not do that to me when I die...that is absolutely selfish and greedy of them. They deserve to go out of fucking business.
 

omegaman

New Member
Well....if he catches the theif then he saves the day getting a criminal off the streets. How does that sound? Idiot Walmart. He risks his life to do that. Police can't be there instantly, stupid, stupid!
That's the problem, he risked his life. Sure, he wasn't injured and he saved the day. But, what if he was injured or killed over $21 (assumed cost price) golf balls? And, Wal-Mart could be sued over $21 golf balls? Or, what if the shop-lifter was injured and decide to sue Wal-Mart?

I feel sorry for the guy though, because he sounds like a good employee. I think Wal-Mart should have warned/suspended him rather than sack him. We are human, so we all make mistakes.
 

CJB

New Member
Recurring theme here. Everything is always about money. Whether it's the creep life insurance thing or the worrying about the golf ball liability issue... money.

Money money money.

:roll:
 

diehardbiker

Active Member
Understand, the problem is nowadays criminals CAN sue companies for damages, had it happened? You can bet on it!

Second issue is workmanship compenstation insurance, that is where the problems comes up, the Workmanship compenstation does NOT want any liablity from injury employee for doing rightful thing.

Remember, if employees gets injury no matter what happens, employees have 100% rights to sue companies, that is why companies decided to enact policy prohibits them from chasing criminals, and if employees violate that policy then that employees can not sue company for injury. Whats more, if an employees chased a criminal and criminal decided to grab another Employees, then that another employees CAN sue company for damages. The point here is RISK, it is not worth the risk, let police handle them. Wal mart did right thing, and Wal mart is not the only company have that policy, you may not realize the numbers of companies have same policies as well.

IT is all about safety for all Employees,
 

Cheri

Prayers for my dad.
Premium Member
A lot of retail stores has this policy, not just Wal-Mart. I feel bad that he lost his job, but he made a choice to chase after the thief when he knew it was against the policy. It's not worth losing your life over stolen merchandise.
 

Jiro

If You Know What I Mean
Premium Member
Blockbuster does this as well. My friend who works for BB has told me that he saw a man blatantly stealing DVDs and walked away. He knew BB employees cannot do anything about it.
 
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