After Nationwide Backlash, Best Buy Issues New Statement About Firing Guard
Roseville, CA – The Best Buy security guard who was fired after he chased down a suspect who punched a deputy in the store parking lot has been offered his job back.
"We made a decision to fire our employee for violating our clear policies, but have had reason to take another look at what happened," Best Buy told FOX News on Monday.
It's not clear if their "reason" is nationwide backlash since the story broke, or if they actually took the time to investigate afterwards.
The incident occurred on Jan. 11, after Placer County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) detectives tracked 35-year-old fugitive Timothy Trujillo to the Best Buy store in Roseville, KXTV reported.
Tyler, who only wanted his first name to be used, said he noticed a group of undercover sheriff’s deputies as they converged on the suspect out in the parking lot, according to KTXL.
But the fugitive then went on the fight, punching one of the deputies and knocking him to the ground.
“When they confronted him, the man punched one of the detectives and tried to run off,” PCSO Lieutenant Andrew Scott explained. “That’s when the security guard tackled the man, preventing him from escaping.”
Security footage showed Trujillo as he raced through the packed parking lot.
“He started running past me and I thought I was doing the right thing by stopping him,” Tyler told KTXL.
As Trujillo ran past the front of the building, Tyler suddenly darted into the frame, and quickly closed the gap between him and the fleeing suspect, the video showed.
The security guard and Trujillo both sailed through the air as Tyler slammed into him, landing hard on the asphalt several feet later.
As soon as Trujillo hit the ground, Tyler jumped to his feet and backed away, and the deputies moved in to take the suspect into custody.
“Obviously, we are very grateful [Tyler] intervened," Lt. Scott told KXTV. "Luckily no one was hurt. That’s our first and most pressing concern in something like this, but because he intervened, we were able to catch this man and take him off the streets."
Tyler, a U.S. Army veteran, said he knew there would be consequences for his decision to intervene, but that he didn’t hesitate to do what he felt was right, KTXL reported.
“I understood that when I went back in there I was going to get into some type of trouble because Best Buy policy says we aren’t supposed to touch anybody,” he told the news outlet. “[But it] seemed like it was the right thing… Someone [was] running from the cops – seemed like the logical thing to do.”
Best Buy fired him on Jan. 25, he told KXTV.
“My manager called me in and said corporate decided to let me go because I used excessive force and it was against Best Buy’s policy to intervene,” Tyler said, according to KTXL.
“Our policy is clear, employees are not to chase potential criminals outside of the store,” Best Buy initially told KTXL in a statement. “Chasing an individual in the parking lot creates a safety risk that isn’t worth taking, regardless of how noble an employee’s intention is.”
But the company has since reconsidered its position, and ultimately decided they would like to have Tyler back.
“In the end, we understand he made a split-second decision to do what he thought was right and, while we wish he hadn’t put himself at risk, we regret our initial decision and will be offering him his job back," Best Buy said, according to FOX News.
It was unclear whether Tyler, who is going to start college in April, planned to accept the company’s offer to go back to work for the store.
Trujillo was wanted out of Nevada at the time of his arrest, KXTV reported.
Detectives located stolen property, burglary tools, and methamphetamine in his vehicle, and were also able to connect him with multiple local burglaries.
He has been charged with burglary, possession of burglary tools, possession of methamphetamine, and assaulting and resisting a peace officer.