What is it that makes a hero? This is a question that can be debated forever. Instead of debating the question I will simply tell you what it takes to be a hero. A hero is someone who takes quick action even when doing so puts themselves at risk. A hero does not hesitate to do what needs to be done. A hero is someone like Florida resident Dean Crouch, who until recently used to be a store manager at the Academy Sports store in Tallahassee. I say used to be, because everything that makes this man a hero that the rest of America can look up to and celebrate is also everything that got this man fired from his job. Dean Crouch was fired because when a customer at the store attempted to steal a Glock and some ammunition he ran after the customer and tackled him before anyone could be hurt.
When Dean Crouch spoke to media about the event that took place on June 29 he said, “my employee yelled ‘stop that man!’ I turned and looked and saw Mr. White running from the gun bar toward the front of the store with a firearm in his hand. At the front door is where I stopped him. I tackled him to the ground. We apprehended him and detained him. We secured the firearm.”
In return for his quick thinking and fast reflexes that have prevented any unknown number of people from getting hurt Crouch received a one week suspension from Academy Sports before they fired him via a conference call. Dean Crouch sent the company an email asking them to reconsider their decision to terminate his employment. Academy Sports has not budged by their decision to terminate the heroic managers employment. While no one at the Tallahassee location will speak in regards to the termination of Dean Crouch all media has been directed to the company’s corporate offices in Texas.
In a statement that was emailed to WCTV Academy Sports spokeswoman Elise Hasbrook said, “we are grateful that everyone is safe after this incident and for the quick actions of the Tallahassee police.” Later in the same statement she defended Academy Sports decision to terminate the employment of Dean Crouch when she said, “we have policies in place to protect our team members and customers during a robbery. While this incident ended without injuries, actions inconsistent with our corporate policies were taken.”
Paperwork that was filed by the responding police officers state that Jason White requested to see a Glock from inside a glass case, and once the employee handed it to him, began running. Crouch ran after him, making contact (tackling him) just past the first doors. The firearm flew from Jason White’s hand when he was tackled to the ground and was recovered along with a backpack that the customer had full of other stolen merchandise. After successfully capturing the customer at the front door Crouch detained Jason White until the officers arrived on the scene.
When the responding police officers arrived on the scene Jason White repeatedly told them that someone had threatened his family. The police report shows that White admitted to stealing the Glock and ammunition. He even went as far as to claim that when he got out of jail he would do it again. He repeatedly told the officers that he would shoot someone and they would see him on the evening news. Court records show that Jason White has been released from jail on bond as of July 6. According to documents released by the court he is on what is called “Supervised Mental Health Pre Trial Release.”
While both the police and Academy Sports have video of the incident that occurred on June 29, nobody is releasing the video to the public. According to the state attorney’s office the reason that the video has not been released to the public is because it is still in what is called the “discovery process.”
In contrast to Jason White who is out on bond for the time being, Dean Crouch’s life has found itself turned upside down. He has had to put his house on the market since losing his employment with Academy Sports.
Since this incident took place on June 29 other companies have reached out to Dean Crouch offering him a place on their own teams as an employee. While Crouch appreciates the offers of employment that have come his way ever since news of his termination has gone public he is still holding out hope that Academy Sports will change their mind and allow him to return to the job that he loved.