HARTLAND TWP. (WWJ/AP) – A man who lost his job at Walmart after interrupting an assault of a woman in the store’s parking lot says he’s rejecting the company’s offer to return to work.
Kristopher Oswald was fired Oct. 13 from the store in Livingston County’s Hartland Township. The 30-year-old said he was in his car on his break around 2:30 p.m. when he saw a man grabbing a woman. 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 he violated store policy, which instructs employees to alert managers and call police.
After reviewing the matter, the Bentonville, Ark.-based company decided to offer Oswald his job back, saying they “realized Mr. Oswald’s intentions were good.”
He’s going to pass, though, Oswald told WWJ Newsradio 950’s Sandra McNeil.
“For one, the job offer came as a press release to the media while I was on live TV,” Oswald’ said. “It was a direct attempt to sway public opinion away from the horrible decision that they made.”
Oswald fells the job offer was a publicity stunt, and the store has already informed him they will not pay for his medical expenses.
Oswald says he worries he’d have a tough time if he want back to Walmart, as he’s gotten the retailer some bad press. A Walmart spokeswoman said, however, the company promised there would be no retaliation.
“People keep telling me I’m the one who rocked the giant,” he said. “I feel like I’m walking on eggshells every day.”
Meantime, Oswald can’t get what happened out of his mind.
“Every time I tried to close my eyes, I saw him swinging at me,” Oswald said. “I still do. It’s a struggle for me daily.”
But he’s still glad he did what he did.
“I have a feeling, you know, I did something good; I did something right; I did what anybody would’ve done in that situation,” Oswald said. “You just don’t hit girls; you don’t do it.”
The suspect in the assaults will be arraigned next week.
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