DEL REY OAKS, Monterey County (CBS / AP) — The Safeway supermarket chain is facing a public relations crisis over its decision to suspend a meat clerk at one of its Monterey County stores after he struck a man who had been kicking his pregnant girlfriend.

The Monterey Herald reports that customers angered by Safeway’s actions on Sunday picketed the store in Del Rey Oaks where employee Ryan Young stepped between the couple on April 21.

Safeway spokeswoman Teena Massingill said Young was not suspended without pay for coming to the woman’s aid, but for other unspecific actions that were caught on a store surveillance video.

The company is reviewing the footage along with the union that represents Safeway workers.

The Del Rey Oaks Police Department and its chief have commended Young for defending the woman.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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