Greenfield, IN – A CVS Pharmacy employee said that he and the pharmacist he worked with were both fired by the company after they fought back against a robber who tried to get away with stolen oxycodone (video below).
“I was defending myself, defending my pharmacist," Zacharia Phillips told WXIN. “If we get attacked, we are not even allowed to defend ourselves.”
The incident occurred on Nov. 8, when 22-year-old Jagger Maupin marched into the CVS store on State Street, and headed to the pharmacy at the back of the building, WISH reported.
“He showed my pharmacist a note saying, ‘This is a pharmacy robbery,’” Phillips said.
The pharmacist walked the robber back to the front of the store where Phillips was working, and told him what had occurred.
Surveillance footage captured the brief interaction, then showed Maupin as he shoved past the pharmacist and headed towards the exit.
“He put his hands on my pharmacist,” said Phillips, who had previously been attacked by an assailant during a different robbery at the store.
“I didn't know what was going to happen from that point. But I wasn't going to let him hurt my pharmacist,” he explained.
The men tackled Maupin to the ground, then pinned him down until police arrived at the scene, the video showed.
Phillips told WISH that he reacted without hesitation.
"When you see someone going after someone you consider a friend, your instinct is to protect them,” he added.
“He could have been out to hurt somebody else or endangered somebody’s life if he had gotten drugs," Phillips told WXIN.
Officers arrived at the scene moments later, and struggled with the combative suspect on the ground before they were able to wrestle him into handcuffs, the video showed.
Maupin was subsequently taken to the Hancock County Jail on charges of resisting law enforcement, robbery, theft, battery, and obstruction of justice, WXIN reported.
But several days later, Phillips and the pharmacist were both fired by CVS for “initiating physical confrontation” during the altercation with Maupin, in violation of company policy, according to WISH.
Phillips had worked for the store for five years.
“They told me I violated policy for not letting him leave the store,” he told WXIN. “If we get attacked, we’re not even allowed to defend ourselves.”
"When you have a half second to think about it, you don't think about policy. You think about [your] friend’s life, and who this guy might endanger if he had gotten drugs," Phillips explained to WISH. "We're just supposed to let them have these dangerous drugs and be on their way.”
“They don't value anybody,” he said of his former employer. “They don't value their employees. They don't value customers. They value money."
Although his heroic action cost him his job, Phillips said he has no regrets and that he believes he and the pharmacist potentially helped save others by taking down the robber.
"The safety and well-being of our customers and employees is always our highest priority,” CVS said in a statement to WISH. “We have stringent security policies and procedures in place to prohibit actions by employees that would jeopardize their safety and the safety of others.”
“The actions of two employees at our Greenfield store during a recent attempted robbery violated those policies and procedures by initiating a physical confrontation, which led to our decision to separate them from the company,” the drugstore chain said.
Maupin was also arrested in connection with a robbery at a CVS Pharmacy in Franklin in 2017, the Daily Journal reported.
During that incident, he and an accomplice allegedly burst into the store with bandannas over their faces, then made off with a bottle of alcohol.
Witnesses helped police track the men to a nearby residence..
Maupin was charged with theft during that incident, but it was unclear whether or not he was convicted.
You can watch security footage of the altercation at CVS in the video below: