Safeway Suspends Employee After He Stopped A Man From Hitting Pregnant Girlfriend

We’ve gotten multiple tips from readers expressing disgust at Safeway, after an employee in California was suspended without pay for intervening in a domestic assault situation inside the store. The police called the worker a hero for stopping a man from hitting his pregnant girlfriend.

CBS 5 in San Francisco says Ryan, a meat clerk at a Safeway in the Monterey area, was going about his job when he saw a man beating his girlfriend, who is six months pregnant.

“Every few seconds he would turn around and push her and then he actually kicked her,” Ryan said. “I told him to calm down and he was just irate.”

He added that the man refused to stop, so he jumped in to break it up.

“I saw no one was intervening in the situation and I just became afraid for her safety and also other customers’ safety,” he said. “The guy was out of control and pretty much lost it in there.”

The chief of police said if the employee hadn’t done what he did, things could’ve been worse for the victim. Despite that, Ryan was suspended without pay from Safeway for violating company policy.

“We understand about policy, but at some point someone has to do something. And in my mind, in this case Ryan did the right thing,” said the police chief.

Ryan has no income and his wife is five months pregnant, but he doesn’t regret what he did.

“How many people have been injured, murdered, whatever in front of everyone because everyone looks the other way and no one wants to get involved?” he said.

A manager at a Safeway store in San Francisco told the news station that employees are supposed to contact store security or a manager if they see a conflict inside the store.

*Thanks to all our tipsters!

Monterey County Safeway Worker Suspended After Stopping Assault [CBS 5 San Francisco]

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  1. Nobody can say "Teehee" with a straight face says:

    Oh come on! Everyone knows these days that when you see someone fighting/getting hurt/dying/bleeding on the side of the road begging for mercy the FIRST thing you do is whip out your camera to record their suffering!

    How else are you going to get a bunch of view counts on your videos!?

  2. Cat says:

    “How many people have been injured, murdered, whatever in front of everyone because everyone looks the other way and no one wants to get involved?”

    This. A thousand times, this.

  3. FatLynn says:

    BAFH.

  4. homehome says:

    no good deed goes unpunished

    • JennQPublic says:

      Nope. But this man knew what the consequences for doing this good deed could be, and chose to do the right things anyway. He is paying a price, but at the end of the day, he’s a decent human being and he gets to live with himself.

      I’m really glad (and somewhat surprised) they didn’t fire him. They absolutely could have. It seems to me like they are trying to cut him some slack without looking like they’re cutting him any slack.

      He will get through this just fine.

      • Bort says:

        I doubt at that moment he thought about the possible retaliatory consequences of his actions, its likely he acted on instinct, pregnant woman being attacked, he leapt into action
        I consider this is to be a good instinct to have.

    • BorkBorkBork says:

      If that’s what you think before doing (not) something good, you’re life must be a dark, gloomy place.

      What’s right is right, and kudos to Ryan for understanding that.

  5. Coffee says:

    I, for one, and happy that Safeway acted in the manner they did. After all, a rule is a rule, and it shouldn’t matter if the person is breaking the rule to prevent the theft of toothpaste, save a stray kitten, or prevent the miscarriage of an unborn child. After all, it’s a slippery slope – sure, today the man is saving a woman and the baby she is carrying, but what about tomorrow? Will he beat a homeless man to death to prevent him from stealing a beer? Kick a nun in the face because she’s chastising someone’s child too loudly? Bravo, Safeway. Bravo.

    • Duke_Newcombe-Making children and adults as fat as pigs says:

      I pray with all earnestness that this is just sacrasm, and my sarc-o-meter is just on the fritz.

      • runswithscissors says:

        With Coffee, it’s biting sarcasm. :)

        • Coffee says:

          *Growl*

          My unwillingness to use a /sarc tag is often my undoing…thanks for clarifying >:D

      • InsertPithyNicknameHere says:

        Don’t worry. It’s Coffee – he had his soul removed to make room for all of the sarcasm, and now it just flows forth from him like a fountain.

    • Warren - aka The Piddler on the Roof says:

      I’m not a sentimental man, but your speech just brought a tear to my eye.

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      *snerk*

  6. mhuckins says:

    I’m heading up to Pacifica in a few hours. I would like to buy this man a beer.

  7. PHRoG says:

    “Excuse me Sir..I’m going to need you to stop beating on your girlfriend there until someone with some authority to do something about it gets here. Mmmm, k?”

  8. az123 says:

    Well suspending, hopefully they just slap him on the wrist, but I get the stores position, having run a business they need rules and training in place. They train security and managers to deal with these things, follow the law and prevent potential legal issues for the company. They tell others to let these people deal with it. Suspending him is appropriate for violating store policy and fine by me based on that. What shows if Safeway is sane about this goes to if they don’t fire him or keep him away from work too long. Basically suspend to “investigate” then bring them back

    • VintageLydia says:

      It depends on how bad the situation was. It’s very likely the situation couldn’t wait for security or a manager or at least looked like it couldn’t.

      • AllanG54 says:

        I would think security would be in their booth watching the cameras and maybe seeing this go down. And then, as rent-a-cops usually do, they looked the other way.

      • JJFIII says:

        “”Every few seconds he would turn around and push her and then he actually kicked her,” Ryan said. “I told him to calm down and he was just irate.”

        He added that the man refused to stop, so he jumped in to break it up.

        “I saw no one was intervening in the situation and I just became afraid for her safety and also other customers’ safety,” he said. “The guy was out of control and pretty much lost it in there.”

        This tells me he had an opportunity to contact a manager or security. While what the man did is nice, he could have put EVERYBODY in the store at risk. Any person who works law enforcement of any kind will tell you the most dangerous situation is a domestic call. That is what this is. Many times when something like this happens, the person being beaten will then get angry that their abuser is put in jail. She then says, well who the hell is a meat clerk to get involved in my business. What is the Safeway policy on this?
        There is a reason they want managers and security called. It is what THEY are paid for. There are plenty of instances where INNOCENT people get hurt trying to break up a fight
        http://www.kake.com/home/headlines/Homicide_Victim_Remembered_At_Candle_Light_Vigil_136553923.html
        http://www.mybrowndeernow.com/news/138948829.html#!page=0&pageSize=10&sort=newestfirst

        If the woman wanted help she should have asked for it. Otherwise, she was in a consensual fight.

        • AstroPig7 says:

          I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you know next to nothing about domestic abuse. By your logic, battered wives are in consensual fights because they didn’t ask for help. Nevermind the issues of psychological control and low sense of self-worth.

        • runswithscissors says:

          I refuse to accept a world like this. I will continue to help those in distress.

        • random925 says:

          “If the woman wanted help she should have asked for it. Otherwise, she was in a consensual fight.” ~ JJFIII

          That has to be the second dumbest fucking thing I have read.

          • Coffee says:

            What’s the dumbest?

            And yes…the idea that any fight in which an abused woman doesn’t call for help is implicitly consensual…no…just no.

        • El_Fez says:

          You couldnt be more wrong if you tried. If there is some out of control dick beating the stuffing out of a defenseless woman* it is your duty to stop that little shit. Period, full stop. End of story.

          *Or some out of control bitch beating the shit out of a man.

          It’s just part of being a being a f*&@#*ing human being.

          • JJFIII says:

            “some out of control dick beating the stuffing out of a defenseless woman* “

            1.there is NOTHING in the story that makes the woman “defenseless”
            2. There is nothing that states he was “beating the stuffing” (whatever that means) out of her.

            The exact quote was “Every few seconds he would turn around and push her and then he actually kicked her,”
            Which means after the first time he saw it, the employee could have easily found security, a manager or called police. The “defenseless” woman also had those options, as well as screaming, running, leaving. She allowed it to go on.
            I beet if you look up this woman in a year from now, she will be living with the guy who beat her. She wont testify against him, and the cycle continues with her then infant child. Good plan for all those who accept that the woman has no choice BULLSHIT.

            • El_Fez says:

              You convinced me. She deserved everything she got and I’m disappointed that the suspended employee didn’t help out. At the very least he could have offered to hold this broad down.

              Fuck this stupid woman.

              • Coffee says:

                I’m convinced too…I’m kind of upset, however, that you didn’t also shoehorn the baby into your circle of blame. It’s the baby’s fault, after all, that she can’t run fast enough to escape.

                • El_Fez says:

                  Good heavens! You’re right – if she had just learned to keep her knees together instead of showing off Her Happy Place to every single man in town like the whore she is, she would have been able to get away in a timely manner!

                  Clearly this is all the dumb broad’s fault. Good on Her Man for showing her the back of his hand!

        • VintageLydia says:

          My aunt became a lawyer and prosecuted domestic abusers after escaping her own abuser. I’m well aware of the dangers to the abused, the interveners, and anyone directly or indirectly involved in stopping an abuser. That doesn’t mean if someone is abused right in front of you and is in real danger you don’t have an ethical obligation to do something.

          And you know NOTHING of the psychological trauma an abused person is likely to be suffering under if you don’t think that person doesn’t want help because he/she doesn’t ask for it. Seriously, fuck you.

          • JJFIII says:

            You are right, because I choose NEVER to be a victim. Once you let it happen once, you have accepted that hitting you is acceptable behavior. PERIOD. She is not a child, or she is at least old enough to have sex, so she has choices. I have zero sympathy for any person who CHOOSES to stay a victim of domestic abuse. Hit me once, shame on you, hit me twice, shame on me.
            YOU making the decision to involve yourself in other peoples fights can and DOES lead to truly innocent people getting killed. I have put several links in other posts, and there are dozens more I could list that have happened in the last year alone.
            Your psychological issues should not force the rest of us to be endangered.

            • AstroPig7 says:

              Wow, that was amazingly uninformed and ridiculously stupid. People generally don’t choose to be in abusive situations, and the fact that you have actually named the victim as the source of the danger, as opposed to the abuser, tells me that you are either trolling or think that self-worth and its consequences are entirely the product of one’s own decisions. (Since someone who has been abused since childhood will certainly be able to escape future cycles of abuse of their own volition with all of that wonderful self-worth they magically generated during the first cycle.)

              If the world operated by your methods, then altruism would be well and truly dead. There is risk in nearly everything we do with others, and if we can’t help each other because of the rare occasion when it goes wrong, then we have failed as a species.

            • HogwartsProfessor says:

              You don’t know anything about it, then. It’s possible to be psychologically intimidated to the point where you can’t respond. Also, by the time they escalate to hitting, many abusers have cut their victims off from family and friends, outside income, their own money, etc. Combined with the mental abuse, it creates a situation where they feel they have no way out. It’s kind of like Stockholm syndrome. It’s a very insidious situation that is extremely difficult to get out of.

              Learn before you spout off. Please.

            • Mephron says:

              Chrst, yu’r n sshl.

              (pre-disemvoweled for your protection.)

            • Youngfrankenstein says:

              Someone’s been reading too much Byron Katie…

            • RecordStoreToughGuy_RidesTheWarpOfSpaceIntoTheWombOfNight says:

              Oh, wow, we got us a badass over here.

              Fuck you.

        • RedOryx says:

          “If the woman wanted help she should have asked for it. Otherwise, she was in a consensual fight.”

          Are you fucking kidding me? Nice display of victim blaming.

        • AbeniMakudonarudo says:

          “If the woman wanted help she should have asked for it. Otherwise, she was in a consensual fight.”
          – JJFIII

          According to the article, the fetus didn’t ask for help either. We should probably conclude that both woman and fetus were looking for a fight, huh?

  9. AustinTXProgrammer says:

    Companies become too attached to their policy.

    The root cause is that people have gotten hurt on the job doing things like this and have cost companies millions. So they put a policy in place. If they don’t enforce it and someone gets hurt the companies loose money.

    Unless the company liability is somehow limited these things will keep happening.

    • homehome says:

      Glad someone understands. Say he got dude off the woman and he hurt dude in some way. That’s a millionaire dollar lawsuit the guy would win and the company would have to pay. Some ppl either don’t understand or don’t care about that.

    • Republicrat says:

      While these polices do exist to protect the company, it is not arguable that the company’s interests are being served by rigidly enforcing the policy in an unthinking manner.

      What happens when companies lose millions due to bad PR because a zero-tolerance policy keeps employees from saving somebody’s life or saving a woman from having a miscarriage?

    • mokie says:

      Pretty much. Physical intervention means corporate liability, and they’d rather customers beat each other to death in the parking lot than face a lawsuit.

  10. Murph1908 says:

    Outside a bar where I worked, a guy was beating on his girlfriend. Some dude stepped in to stop it, and the boyfriend started taking swings at him. Dude protected himself, and fought back.

    The girlfriend grabs a screwdriver from somwhere on the street, screams, “Leave my boyfriend alone!” and stabs the dude in the back of the neck. Dude is likely still parylized from the neck down.

    Not saying I would let it happen if faced with that situation, but this is one of the many reasons why people ‘just stand around’ and why stores have such policies.

    /end DA

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

      Must agree. Many times these relationships are screwed up, and the abused woman sees nothing wrong with the behavior, and will protect the abuser if they are confronted.

  11. Lyn Torden says:

    Boycott of that Safeway store in the Monterey area in … 3 … 2 … 1 …

  12. sagodjur says:

    “A manager at a Safeway store in San Francisco told the news station that employees are supposed to contact store security or a manager if they see a conflict inside the store.”

    “Uh, yeah, Joe? This is Ryan. There’s a guy beating his pregnant girlfriend in aisle 5. Yeah, you need to get down here right away. Oh, never mind, she’s unconscious and bleeding now and he’s running out of the store because I stopped to call you instead of intervening to prevent further injury. Just call the cops to come close up the store for the rest of the day while they investigate the incident and interview all of us and then the schmucks on the internet can Monday morning quarterback our decision to follow corporate policy instead of being human beings…because that is a better scenario than getting suspended.”

    • George4478 says:

      “”Uh, yeah, Joe? This is Ryan. There’s a guy beating his pregnant girlfriend in aisle 5. I intervened and she fell down. She might be miscarrying. She screaming for a lawyer and an ambulance. Yeah, you need to get down here right away.”

      • sagodjur says:

        Better a clean conscience than a full bank account. I’d donate to his cause if he was sued personally by the victim.

      • runswithscissors says:

        If you value money over life then there’s not much that can be said.

        • Costner says:

          In the real world, there are times that it is necessary to value money over life. Case in point – it doens’t make sense to spend $9M in medical treatments to keep a 93 year old woman alive for another 14 months, nor does it make sense to spend $800k to keep a premature infant alive who was born with a genetic disorder that ensures they will not live beyond one week.

          Maybe that sounds cold and heartless, but it is a fact. In many cases resources are finite and diverting funds to one individual or one cause can have negative ramifications elsewhere. Not saying that applies to Safeway and a beatdown in aisle 5, but there are many outcomes to these situations that we may not see until it is too late. For instance what if the man pulled a knife and stabbed the employee? He bleeds out resulting in his pregnant wife being alone with no income. Maybe she wins a lawsuit… maybe not, but do you think her life would be the same without him?

          I think Safeway could be more flexible with their policy and I hate these black & white policies that have no wiggle room, but the simple true is he is very fortunate things ended up how they did instead of them getting much, much worse.

        • George4478 says:

          My comment has nothing to do with valuing money over life. The comment I responded to was about the bad thing that might have happened if the employee did not respond. I just pointed out the bad thing that might have happened when the employee did respond.

          Hypothesizing what he may have prevented is no different from hypothesizing what he may have caused.

          Would you still be applauding the employee’s actions if he caused a miscarriage, or the boyfriend whipped out a gun and shot a few people, or the girlfriend leapt to the defense of her boyfriend and injured the employee? Or are your kudos based on the hindsight viewpoint and would have changed depending on the events?

          • runswithscissors says:

            No, I’m basing my viewpoints on “being a decent human being who helps others in distress” but you know, that’s just me.

    • JJFIII says:

      Um yeah Joe this is Ryan. Two customers were just hit with bullets because I thought I should break up a fight between a man and a pregnant woman and when I went to stop it she pulled a gun and said leave my baby daddy alone.

      Maybe YOU do not understand the reason for the policy, but the safety of the masses trumps the woman who made the CHOICE to be with this guy.

      • The Colonel says:

        But this isn’t the reason for those store policies. The point of those policies is that someone’s life isn’t worth risking over a flat screen TV or a can of beans or the money in the cash register. When a person is at risk of physical harm, that’s a different scenario.

        • JJFIII says:

          The reason is to avoid further conflict. How do you think riots start. One person gets involved, then another, then it is mass fighting. The fact is, Ryan knew NOTHING of the situation, other than the woman never once asked for help. If she will not stand up for herself and ask for help, then why should every employee and customer at Safeway be at risk from this guy?

          • Toffeemama is looking for a few good Otters says:

            Do you not know how domestic abuse works?

            • Kuri says:

              Something tells me he lives in that magical “just world” where any time ANYTHING bad happens to someone they did something to deserve it.

      • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

        There’s no real way to determine she was actually “with” the guy just from watching him beat her.

        • JJFIII says:

          Well let’s see, if a stranger were pushing you in public would you scream loudly for help, or run, or do something that would stop him?

      • Kate says:

        Lets see, you are pregnant and have no job, your husband who you love when he is nice, is supporting you. He keeps telling you how nobody else would want you because you are fat and you believe him, because this is your experience.

        Shall you – leave to no where and get followed and beat up worse? Or stay with the legal father of your child and have a place to stay.

        Leaving doesn’t stop the violence, it tends to make it far far worse.

      • sagodjur says:

        Oh, I agree with you completely. Let the bitch get beaten for everyone else’s protection. She probably deserves it, right?

        OR maybe doing the right thing by being a human being means taking a chance that things could get worse. This is civilization, not the law of the jungle. You are morally responsible for your own actions and inactions. If she pulls a gun and starts shooting people because you tried to help, that’s her fault, not yours.

        “And did Goloka think the Ulu’s were too ugly to save?”

        • MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

          No no no, you don’t get it. If the abuser hurts someone else, it’s ALL YOUR FAULT. You shouldn’t have made him mad.

          Ideally, the police should handle these things because they’re trained in stopping people while not getting themselves or other people hurt, but blaming someone for “interfering” is a classic abuser ploy.

          • sagodjur says:

            “No no no, you don’t get it. If the abuser hurts someone else, it’s ALL YOUR FAULT. You shouldn’t have made him mad.”

            I get mad and beat people up if the people I talk to on the internet don’t send me money. If you don’t send me money, I’ll beat several people into comas. According to your logic, you will be at fault for me beating people because you made me mad.

            OR we are only responsible for our own deeds. You can’t be morally responsible for someone else’s actions unless you actually caused them to do them, such as holding a gun to their head. Intervening in order to protect someone is not cause for someone else to hurt people more unless they choose to hurt people more. They might choose to hurt people more regardless of whether you intervene. It’s absurd to say that you could be at fault for someone else’s violent actions.

            “It’s not domestic abuse, officer. My wife made me beat her because she made me mad, so it’s all her fault!”

            Ideally, the police should handle these things because they’re trained in stopping people while not getting themselves or other people hurt, but blaming someone for “interfering” is a classic abuser ploy.

  13. rlmiller007 says:

    Isn’t their name “SAFEway”. She wasn’t safe. Policies are good but have a little common sense. Amend the policies so the local manager has the final say.

  14. keith4298 says:

    We have let a fear of litigation kill our human conscience. Corporations may be people, but they are not nice people.

    • msbask says:

      I understand Safeway’s position completely. But luckily, this guy didn’t let his fear of litigation stop him from doing the right thing. Hopefully, someone out there is reading this and will offer him a (better) job because he is a hero.

  15. emax4 says:

    If he hadn’t intervened, she might have been able to stock up on the all new gauze pads and bandages, therefore causing the loss of sales.

    >:(

  16. galm666 says:

    “Hey, my pregnant girlfriend is being hit by someone and no one is doing anything. I’m gonna take 30 seconds to 5 minutes to get a manager or some security person. This isn’t nearly enough time for someone to get seriously hurt or killed at all! I should follow store policy rather than avoid a lifetime of guilt!”

    Right, whatever. I’m also glad I don’t work in retail.

    • galm666 says:

      Whoops, misread the article – but either way – employee’s girlfriend or the customer’s girlfriend – waiting around can get people hurt and killed.

  17. Sean says:

    I would have done the same thing as Ryan. Bravo Ryan!

  18. sagodjur says:

    “A certain man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who both stripped him and beat him, and departed, leaving him half dead…But a certain Samaritan, as he traveled, came where he was. When he saw him, he was moved with compassion…” but then remembered that corporate policy was to not intervene, so the man died and the Samaritan got to keep his job.

    “Then Jesus said to him, ‘Go and do likewise…'” for it is better to keep your job than to risk your life for a fellow human being who is not covered under corporate insurance and who does not likely own stock in the company and who, if not recorded on a cellphone video that is uploaded to YouTube, will not cause a major uproar amongst our customers. So sayeth the Lord’s profits.

  19. CommonSense(ಠ_ಠ) says:

    Safeway is a horrible company.

    • Sweet Revenge says:

      They are indeed. If the employee let the beating continue and she ended up losing the baby because of it, they’d probably fire him for not helping (once they got slapped with a lawsuit by the victim.)

      F*ck you, Safeway!

  20. regis-s says:

    So now that it’s hit the news he’ll probably either have the suspension lifted or he’ll be fired for talking to the media and embarassing Safeway.

    I don’t agree with the suspension but they do have a point about contacting security. It wasn’t 3 am on a deserted road in the middle of nowhere. He could have called security and intervened if they didn’t get there in time.

  21. Cat says:

    The only Safe Way to beat a pregnant woman is to do it at Safeway. They have policies to protect abusive people.

  22. BrownLeopard says:

    So I just have to ask: where was security while all of this happened? This went on for more than just a few seconds (from the article it was going on for a bit). I think the woman should sue Safeway for not giving her an environment where she felt safe to shop and especially if she miscarries.

    No, I’m being serious. Screw their policies, this is about human kindness.

  23. kittiefuk says:

    I hope someone in his neighbourhood hears this story and gives him a better paying job and gives him more respect than Safeway has.

    • Kuri says:

      And makes sure the trash who was doing the beating is too scared to ever be seen outside again.

      I stop caring about someone’s rights then they violate the rights of others, especially the right to safety.

  24. GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

    Maybe I have seen to many episodes of COPS, but here is what I would think:

    If he is abusing her, and she is still pregnant, than he probably isn’t hurting her enough to endanger the baby. BUT, if she is being abused, there is a good chance that in trying to “protect” her, she will attack you. I have seen at least one episode of COPS where a lady with a black eye and bleeding lip attacks the cops as they try to arrest her husband/boyfriend. An abusive relationship is a very screwed up dynamic. You call the police, get any information you can, and try not to aggravate the situation until they arrive.

    • Vox Republica says:

      Ah, yes, the “one time I saw an episode of COPS” defense. Gets me out of jury duty every time.*

      * Because they assume I’ve been lobotomized.

  25. dush says:

    Apparently Safeway likes their customers getting beaten while an employee stands there waiting for a manager.

    • JJFIII says:

      Or maybe they like protecting their OTHER customers from the possible escalation that a meat clerk could cause in a situation he knows NOTHING about or has been trained to handle.

  26. Warren - aka The Piddler on the Roof says:

    I bet if he did nothing and the pregnant girl was pushed and lost the baby she’d sue Safeway.

    We need another plague. Like… now.

    • StarKillerX says:

      While I applaude this employee what everyone seems to forget is that one of the most dangerous situations police officers get involved in are domestic desputes.

      When an officer intervenes in situations like this it’s not unusual for the victim so defend her abuser and become a threat to the officer and they’ve been punched, stabbed and even shot by the very women they tried to defend.

  27. El_Fez says:

    Fuck safeway. If I were that employee, the other man would be lucky to still have teeth in his head.

  28. eezy-peezy says:

    If Safeway does not give him his job back, I bet there will be many other job offers for this guy. WTG for doing the right thing instead of being a corporate robot.

  29. balderdashed says:

    Good for Safeway. While the clerk argues that he was acting in part because he was concerned about the safety of other store patrons, it seems more plausible to believe that he was actually placing other customers at potentially greater risk — and his employer at risk of a major lawsuit over his actions. There’s a reason why police officers, who have far more training and ability to handle domestic violence than store clerks, dread such confrontations. The clerk may have had good intentions, but this was not a “good deed” — it was stupid. Fortunately, no one was killed, and perhaps in this particular case, the outcome was better than had he not intervened. But the next clerk who decides to do the same type of thing, instead of contacting company security or trained law enforcement, may not be so lucky. Safeway’s policy makes sense, as does firing this employee for violating it.

    • Cat says:

      “and his employer at risk of a major lawsuit over his actions.”

      Yes, this is the only REAL reason for the policy – none other.

      • balderdashed says:

        Yes — but that kind of goes without saying — just as the REAL reason companies do most anything is to make a profit, and minimizing legal risk is part of that strategy. Nothing wrong with that.

    • runswithscissors says:

      So you’d let her get beaten to death then? If there wouldn’t be time for security/manager/cops to get to the scene, you’d just watch her die?

      • balderdashed says:

        The story doesn’t say she was being “beaten to death.” He pushed her and apparently kicked her at least once. As terrible as that is, the question I would have to ask is, would my intervening be likely to resolve, or at least de-escalate, the situation? Or is there an equally good or even better chance that the perpetrator could become even more out of control and more violent, perhaps causing additional harm to his girlfriend and other customers. It is not inconceivable that in some situations, yes, I would intervene. But it probably wouldn’t be the best choice in most situations, for the safety of all concerned.

        • Kuri says:

          If the guy has a temper, it was only a matter of time before he hits another adult or someone’s kid for accidentally bumping into him.

  30. rdclark says:

    Whatever you do next, how do you NOT call security first? Then, just telling the guy security is on the way could be enough to defuse the situation. At worst, if you feel have to wade in, at least some backup will show up eventually.

  31. El_Fez says:

    Dear Safeway,

    I am pleased to hear that your company is a supporter of domestic violence and will actively take steps to prevent employees from intervening in such acts. Next time I need to beat my wife, I shall be sure to patronize one of your fine stores to do so.

    Thanks!

    • Mamudoon says:

      Email that to them if you haven’t already done so. We don’t have Safeways where I live, but if we did, I’d never set foot in one again. Ryan absolutely did the right thing. If you see someone getting hurt, you help them. Period. It’s a fucking sad commentary on our world when you can’t help a person getting beat up without losing your job or getting sued.

      • El_Fez says:

        Already did, and then cross posted it here for your reading pleasure. If I don’t get a response (even just a canned one), I’ll try the 800 number for shits and grins.

  32. daynight says:

    Bottom line here is that when you choose to get involved you don’t know what type of escalation might occur. Yes, one or the other other of the combatants might pull a knife or a gun. Still, that is not sufficient to hide under your bed until you starve to death.
    It takes guts to become involved. True. There is risk involved. True. Getting involved may defuse the situation or make it worse. What is obvious is that it continues on toward worse until it is completely over. Getting involved shows character, empathy and courage.
    Being forced to stay silent because someone else is afraid to lose money is pathetic! Corporations do not bleed and do not feel pain. Even when paying settlements. There is no feeling in them.
    Applause to a willing hero.!

    • RadarOReally has got the Post-Vacation Blues says:

      He had to overcome more than just “fear of losing money”. In this economy, he had to overcome “fear of not being able to feed himself or his wife or take care of his unborn child”.

  33. Professor59 says:

    I think if he attaches the newspaper article to his resume, he should be able to get a better job ASAP. Although it wouldn’t hurt to get some Walmart money in court on the way out…

  34. axiomatic says:

    Someone give this guy a job ASAP. Screw Safeway.

  35. some.nerd says:

    Safeway… yet another company that fails to live up to its name.

  36. RadarOReally has got the Post-Vacation Blues says:

    And this, my friends, is why employees don’t dare “be human” and let someone use the employee-only bathroom. Because if a company will fire you for breaking policy when you have possibly saved a customer’s life, then believe me, they will fire you for breaking policy when you let an old lady use the facilities.

  37. Dave on bass says:

    I love that this man has a soul.

    What would Safeway’s stance on it be if he instead pulled a Citizen’s Arrest on the guy and held him at bay until the police arrived? (I don’t know the ins and outs of CAs)

  38. Hungry Dog says:

    If this was in Mississippi the state would do everything it can to save that fetus. The mother not so much.

  39. Froggmann says:

    This is what happens when a human works for an inhuman company.

  40. HogwartsProfessor says:

    If I were in a store and saw this happening, I’d just stand where I am and yell “SECURITY!!!!!!” at the top of my lungs. I have a very loud voice. If no one did anything I’d just call 911. While it’s very tempting to get in the middle of it, it’s too risky for someone with my weak little arms.

    I can kick like a horse, though, so if someone attacked me for calling for help, I might be able to hurt him/her long enough to get away at least.

    • El_Fez says:

      Okay, THAT is a reason I can get behind not getting involved. I’m a reasonably fit 40 year old with some mass to throw around, so I’d get in the middle in a hot second. If my 80 year old mother was on the scene, while reasonably spry, she’d have no business stepping in to matters.

      So yeah, there has to be an assessment of if you’re actually going to do any good or just get your ass kicked for no purpose.

  41. SteveHolt says:

    Cool. If I want to kick the crap out of someone, I’ll do it in Safeway or some other store with similar policies.

    I can understand why the policies are in place, but you can’t expect people to stand by and not do anything. I’d have to live with myself forever knowing I didn’t intervene, and I couldn’t take it. I’d rather have a clean conscience and a different job. You go, Ryan.

  42. PunditGuy says:

    Safeway is well within its rights to enforce its policy. We’re within our rights to toss a tip Ryan’s way to help with expenses while he’s suspended. Anybody know how to go about doing that?

  43. Northern Lights says:

    Sometimes the right thing for one party isn’t the right thing for another. I would imagine that the same policy in play with an employee stopping a shoplifter is in play here. Employees cannot get physically involved no matter what’s going on. Yes, in this case it sucks. Ryan did the right thing and I’m glad he doesn’t regret his actions, but from the store’s POV this is a liability issue.

  44. bwcbwc says:

    You know it’s time to stop working in retail when…

  45. TuxedoCartman says:

    The thing that gets me is that every grocery store I’ve been in, there’s that one bored security guard who’s always… hovering. Always watching you when you’re checking out, watching you when you come in the store or leave. I had one one time who thought he’d made the bust of his career because I went into the alcohol section on a Sunday to pick up a can of coconut creme (because I was making a cake). Granted, I just laughed at him and ignored him, but still…

    So the question is: where was the security guard in all of this? What, was this the ONE grocery store in America where security had managed to bring a sudoku with him to work?

  46. xamarshahx says:

    no wonder no one does anything these days. you always get sued or fired!

  47. aaron8301 says:

    I say we all let them know how we feel. I did.

    http://www.facebook.com/Safeway?ref=ts

  48. damicatz says:

    Lawyers are to blame.

    Lawyers are, for the most part, the bottom-feeders of society. They make a living through legalized extortion and the lawyer’s illegal government-sponsored cartel ensures that they have a monopoly on all things related to law. More politicians are lawyers than any other profession and they write the laws and the rules of the courts and deliberately obfuscate them to keep the non-lawyers away.

    Lawyers are why you have stupid warning labels on everything. Because no one can take personal responsibility in this country anymore for being an idiot, now we need warning labels that coffee is hot, that wet floors are indeed slippery and that you shouldn’t fold a stroller with a baby still inside it.

    Divorce lawyers have ruined marriage. Divorce rates are skyrocketing and they play a large part in this. A divorce lawyer does not make a profit through reconciliation of a marriage nor through an amicable divorce. So they make it as acrimonious as possible and they use archaic and obsolete legal doctrines like alimony.

    One cannot open a business now without facing extortion from the common shyster. The ADA allows lawyers to shake down small business owners because the aisles in the store were .5 inches too narrow or the shelf was .2 inches too high. Small businesses cannot hope to comply with the ADA and as such, have simply no choice but to accede to the demands of the lawyer because of the cost of litigation. And if the ADA lawyers don’t get you, one of your customers lawyers will for the stupidest and most asinine of reasons (i.e they were too stupid to look where they were going and slipped and fell).

    If you run a business that doesn’t have a storefront, you are still not protected. Lawyers have invented a system of imaginary and non-tangible property known laughably as “intellectual property”. They will not hesitate to use the coercive force of government to shake down your business even for things they did not invent. Anyone can patent anything and it’s up to the person being sued to prove that the patent is invalid (at an average cost of 5 million dollars in litigation). Even large corporations are not immune; just look at the mobile phone patent wars (of which the shysters are making tons of money off of); and this filters down to smaller businesses and consumers.

    And finally we get to the crux of the matter here which is that one cannot even defend themselves or someone else now without facing a shakedown from a shyster. Thus stores now have to adopt policies that employees are to be sitting ducks lest some malcontent or criminal come back with a shyster in tow and sue the store.

  49. Levk says:

    oh will safeway regret this soon enough watch and see odds are this guy will get fired down the road for something dumb but they will try and fix this asap

  50. Jack SprattSparrowSkellington says:

    What the Douche-way policy really means is, stay away and let the head manager-douche parrot company policy and shut up and do your job.

  51. Ayla says:

    Dude’s a hero. Period.

  52. central_ny_dude says:

    Having been in a similar situation, store policy is there to protect liability of both the employees, and the store itself. If the employee had gotten hurt, he could sue the store. If the attacker had gotten hurt, he could sue the store and the employee. Its a sad reality. Most stores have similar policy in place for that reason. That said, how close was he to a phone? How much time would it have taken to page over the PA: “Security to aisle __ immediately!”? First, that puts the attacker on notice, gives the employee backup to the situation, and if he does go out to do something, he’s already made the required “call” to appropriate people. In one of my jobs, we had a secret code name to page, if we suspected something, or summon that code name to an area. Only those of us in the store knew what it meant, and it worked very well. We were also smart enough to do a confrontation or “take-down” in view of a camera on purpose, which saved our rear ends a few times when people have tried to sue.

  53. AdviceDog says:

    Don’t intervene: you break Good Samaritan laws
    Intervene: you get fired

    Great job, guys!

  54. Erik says:

    I understand that companies like Safeway have policies like this in place, although there mostly there to prevent themselves from being sued. But they need to realize, there are exceptions to every rule. Things are not always black & white in this world, and in between are a thousand shades of grey. Not every rule applies to every situation, and therefore a certain amount of latitude is almost always necessary. Following the rules vs. the real possibility of loosing multiple lives (the mother and the unborn child). Hmmmm doesn’t seem that hard of a decision to me. Kudos to Ryan and his heroic action and shame on Safeway for their decision to suspend him without pay. Sometimes it’s not all about the rules and Safeway needs to realize that!