An Oregon man says he was fired from him job at a Portland Home Depot for violating the company’s safety policy by trying to thwart what he thought at the time was a kidnapping.
Dillon Reagan, 32, found himself out of work in late June over an incident that took place the previous month outside the Home Depot at Mall 205 in Portland.
On May 12, Reagan, was nearing the end of his shift at the Home Depot’s tool rental center when a co-worker alerted him to a disturbance in the parking lot.
Reagan and the other employee found a woman outside the store who was crying and screaming that a man assaulted her, reached into the backseat of her car and grabbed her child, reported KATU.
The two employees called 911 and the emergency dispatcher instructed them not to approach the suspect, but to follow him until police arrived. Officers responded to the scene a few minutes later and returned the child to the mother.
Reagan and his co-worker gave their witness statements to the police and returned to the store 10 minutes later.
According to Reagan, his supervisor rebuked him for intervening, saying he should have gone back to work at once.
Then on June 19, after multiple meetings with his manager, Reagan was terminated from Home Depot, where he had worked for four years as a sales associate.
The May 12 incident was his second strike at work, with the first being the time he was caught using foul language during an argument with a colleague a few weeks earlier.
Despite losing his job, Reagan says he does not regret stepping in to protect a child.
‘It was still the right thing to do,’ he tells the station KGW. ‘I was kind of in a Catch-22 situation: I’m damned if I do, damned if I don’t.’
Police would later conclude that what Reagan witnessed was not a kidnapping but a domestic dispute, and that no crime was committed.
On his Facebook page, Reagan shared a copy of a letter he received 10 days after his firing from the Oregon Employment Department approving his unemployment benefits.
The state agency has found that assisting the police in preventing a kidnapping ‘was not a willful or wantonly negligent violation of the standers of behavior an employer has the right to expect an employee.’
On Wednesday night, the Home Depot issued a statement offering to reinstate Reagan.
‘We took a second look at this and have let Mr Reagan known that we’ve decided to reverse our decision, based on the circumstances. We always do our diligence to make sure associates are treated fairly, which we’ve done in this case.’
But for the sacked Good Samaritan, Home Depot’s about-face was too little, too late.
Reagan says he has no plans to resume his employment at the store, or even shop there in the future.
He put it more bluntly on social media, writing in a post accompanying the letter from the OED vindicating his actions: ‘F*** you, Home Depot!’
The Portland resident expressed hope that his next employer would have no qualms about the way he responded to the suspected abduction.
‘We should be doing the right thing regardless of what company policy is, regardless of what consequence is,’ he tells KGW. ;What’s good and what’s right supersedes what’s policy and what’s orders.’