HARTLAND TWP. (WWJ/AP) – A Michigan man says he was fired from his job at Walmart after he tried to help a woman being assaulted in the parking lot of one of the retail giant’s stores and ended up fighting with her attacker.
Kristopher Oswald, 30, said he was in his car on his break around 2:30 p.m. Sunday when he saw a man grabbing a woman in the parking lot of the Hartland Township store.
Oswald said he asked the woman if she needed help and the man started punching him in the head and yelling that he was going to kill him. Oswald said he was able to get on top of the man, but then two other men jumped him from behind.
Livingston County sheriff’s deputies eventually arrived on the scene and halted the fight.
Shortly after the incident, Oswald said the store’s management gave him paperwork saying that “after a violation of company policy on his lunch break, it was determined to end his temporary assignment.” Oswald had worked for Walmart for about seven weeks and said he would not have been considered a permanent employee until after his 180-day probation.
“The last thing I expected was to not have a job,” Oswald told WXYZ-TV .
Oswald said Walmart has policies against workplace violence to prevent employees from assaulting co-workers or tackling a shoplifter, but that it appears that nothing allows for them to assist in situations of imminent danger and self-defense.
A spokeswoman for Bentonville, Ark.-based Walmart Stores Inc. told The Associated Press on Thursday that while the company understood Oswald’s intentions, his actions violated company policy.
“We had to make a tough decision, one that we don’t take lightly, and he’s no longer with the company,” company spokeswoman Ashley Hardie said.
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