Editors Note: Following the outcry over this story, Safeway has reinstated the worker involved.
DEL REY OAKS, Monterey County (CBS 5) – Safeway has suspended an employee at a Monterey County store, despite being called a hero by police for stopping a domestic assault in the store last month.
Ryan Young, a meat clerk at the Safeway in Del Rey Oaks, said he was doing his job when he saw Quyen Van Tran beating his girlfriend, who is six months pregnant.
“Every few seconds he would turn around and push her and then he actually kicked her,” Young said. “I told him to calm down and he was just irate.”
Young said Tran refused to stop and jumped in to stop the assault.
“I saw no one was intervening in the situation and I just became afraid for her safety and also other customers safety,” Young said. “The guy was out of control and pretty much lost it in there.”
Chief Ron Langford of the Del Ray Oaks Police said if Ryan did not intervene, things could have become much worse for the victim.
But Young said Safeway has suspended him without pay, for supposedly violating company policy. The store has not given word on if or when he will be allowed back.
“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,” Langford said.
Young has no income, while his wife is five months pregnant.
“It’s a tremendous amount of stress on me, my wife as well. And I don’t think anyone should have to second-guess themselves or feel bad doing something that was right,” he said.
Even if Safeway doesn’t agree, Young said he has no regrets.
“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.
Safeway’s corporate offices have not responded to CBS 5’s requests for comment as of Tuesday night.
A manager at a Safeway store in San Francisco told CBS 5 he wasn’t sure of an official policy, but he said employees are supposed to contact store security or a manager if they see a conflict inside the store.
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