A Maryland pizza delivery driver said he was demoted because he fought off a group of teenage robbers – an apparent violation of company policy.
Sam Swicegood was making a Pizza Hut delivery several weeks ago in Glen Burnie when he was attacked by five teenagers who tried to rob him. Last month a co-worker was robbed at gunpoint in the same area.
At least one of the robbers punched Swicegood in the face. But the driver was able to fight off his attackers by using a fiberglass tent pole.
“Five people against one is not a good situation to be in,” he told Fox News. “I thought I was going to die.”
Police later found three of the attackers – a 13-year-old boy and two 14-year-olds. They were charged with robbery, second degree assault and reckless endangerment, according to the Capital Gazette.
Instead of rewarding his quick thinking, Swicegood said he was punished by Pizza Hut. The college student said he was demoted to the restaurant’s kitchen staff. His hours and his pay were also slashed.
He said company officials told him he violated Pizza Hut’s no weapon policy – and apparently the fiberglass tent pole was considered a weapon.
“I’m not saying we should arm all delivery drivers, but I’m saying that punishing delivery drivers for defending themselves as they’re being attacked is unjust,” he told Fox News.
Pizza Hut officials did not return calls seeking comment.
But local residents are siding with the former driver – posting comments on Fox-Baltimore’s Facebook page.
“Drivers should never be placed in harm’s way,” one reader wrote. “They have every right to protect themselves.”
“There you go,” another reader added. “Punish law-abiding citizens for protecting themselves against criminals.”
“Pizza Hut just lost a customer,” wrote another.