Dean Crouch tackles armed thief, then he’s fired by Academy Sports

| July 12, 2018 | 74 Comments

According to the Tallahassee Democrat, Dean Crouch, the manager of the local Academy Sports store, tackled Jason White as White sprinted from the store with a stolen handgun. He had ammunition and magazines in his backpack when he was subdued by Crouch.

“Academy has decided to, instead of treating him like the hero he is, they terminated his employment effective immediately because he put his hands on Mr. White,” Crouch’s attorney Ryan Hobbs said.

Just hours before he was taken into custody, White stole two handguns from Cash America Pawn on South Adams Street, according to Tallahassee Police.

White asked to look at the handgun at the firearms counter [in Academy]. He was handed the gun, then ran toward the front door.

Crouch, who court records say observed the transaction at the counter, and another employee tackled and subdued White at the exit doors and recovered the gun, a stolen backpack, five boxes of ammunition and two magazines for the Glock.

Academy Sports hid behind the “personnel issues” excuse to avoid the media;

“While the incident ended without injury, actions inconsistent with corporate policies were taken,” [Academy Sports spokeswoman Elise Hasbrook] said. “We addressed the matter with the local store and individuals involved.”

Crouch worked at the store for more than two years and is married with a family and has no way to support them.

Company policy or no, someone needed to take action to stop a madman from running around town with a loaded gun and Mr Crouch did something.

Category: Crime

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  1. MustangCryppie says:

    This is seriously fucked up. Even if these pricks offer to take him back, he should tell them to suck his dick.

    I’m betting he’ll find a job real soon.

    • My, My, My says:

      Ha, Tell them to suck his “Dick’s”

      Hopefully they don’t force me to not buy a weapon from there stores due to there f’d up corporate policies.

    • desert says:

      And everyone else should boycott the stupid jerks until THEY are run off and intelligent help hired….or should I say intelligent upper management?

    • Yef says:

      I don’t about that.

      I thought the dean of an academy had been fired for something.

      It turns out some dude called dean that worked from some shitty store called academy got fired.

      Plezzz.

  2. HMC Ret says:

    Somewhere in corporate America is an executive who is thinking that Crouch is just the type of man his company needs. He will soon find employment.

    And, tackling that guy was the right thing to do.

    • Mason says:

      If he can stand for the duration of our national anthem, I think the NFL could use him. He’s already demonstrated experience in tackling felons.

    • 5JC says:

      A lot of companies have written corporate policy about not confronting robbers, burglars, thieves and shoplifters. Get a description and call the police is often the standard.

      The bad guy had rounds and Mr. Crouch could well have been killed over a couple of hundred dollar gun that did not even belong to him. From the company perspective they would rather not have a huge lawsuit on their hands from Mr. Crouch’s family or even the family of the bad guy had he been killed in the progress of his theft (or robbery, don’t know the code in Florida) and lose the gun instead.

      We can debate the morality of it all day but he knew what the policies were when he was hired. I am really glad he did stop him. Bad guy was probably working his way up to armed robbery once he had the gun secured.

      • CWORet says:

        Well, a couple of things on that. Yea, the corporate has a policy to cover their ass, and they followed through on it. Mr. Crouch knew that, but followed through anyway. So, I get it. But, from the linked article (Whites’ mug shot speaks volumes)

        “Just hours before he was taken into custody, White stole two handguns from Cash America Pawn on South Adams Street, according to Tallahassee Police.”

        “White was taken into the store’s office while police were en route. It was there that he admitted to stealing the gun and threatened to shoot people with it.”

        “He repeatedly said ‘I stole and I admit to it’ and ‘I will steal again when I get out of jail,’” officers wrote in their report.”

        From another:
        “Meanwhile, White posted $5,000 bail and was released from the Leon County jail on July 6.”

        So really I’m glad he had the balls to do it, and accepted his fate later. Still a dick move by the company, and now the dickhead thief is back on the street, which is ridiculous in and of itself. It appears, though, that Mr. Crouch now has numerous offers of employment, so all is not lost. I do think the company could have just STFU and had him ‘review policy’. As others have said here, a handful of merchandise is one thing. A hand cannon, ammunition, and magazines are another. Hope the cops recovered the other stolen weapons, since the ass-clown is back in the public sector again. Just my .02

        • 5JC says:

          They might have gone easy on him in a small company but most corporations won’t. Our society is too litigious and corporations are big targets with deep pockets.

          I tell all my potential employers during job interviews that I understand what your policies are but if comes down to a moral, ethical or legal dilemma you will have to find yourself a new employee because I have to live with the choices I make. It has never kept me from getting a job. If dude had got away with the gun and shot up a school that would have been tough to live with.

          • Poetrooper says:

            So, SJC, the perp uses the gun in an armed robbery and kills an innocent civilian. Think forensics isn’t going to trace that serial number back to Academy? Think the lawyer for the family of the dead victim won’t learn during the discovery process that not only did the weapon come from Academy but that store personnel, including the manager, knowingly let the perp leave the premises without attempting to stop him? Think that lawyer won’t sue Academy for gross negligence leading to the death of an innocent citizen? Think a jury won’t find that corporate policy as foolish and selfish as most of us here do?

            See, that litigation defense can turn around and bite those corporate risk managers in the butt.

            • Grunt says:

              There’s a lot of reach in your argument, Poetrooper.

              Unless a lawyer can argue that a store should require it’s untrained, unarmed, non peace officer employees to detain armed thieves, then I think that Academy is safe.

        • Mason says:

          $5k bail on charges of stealing three handguns? No wonder he readily admits he’ll do it again.

      • desert says:

        What happened to manhood in this country? This man had the balls and did something about it! All I hear anymore are a bunch of wooses too chicken shyt to do anything but dial a phone! Wasn’t always like that in the united states of america WHEN MEN WERE MEN!

      • Casey says:

        The story reports the pistol as a Glock. The cheapest I found was $450. I think you need to revise your estimate of the gun cost upwards. That’s not to mention the two magazines and box of ammo he also stole.

  3. Grunt says:

    As frustratingly stupid as these policies can be, as the saying goes, he who pays the piper picks the tune. As long as policies are in compliance with law, the employer has every right in the world to set them, expect compliance, and terminate those who do not comply.

    I wish Mr. Crouch the best of luck in his future employment endeavors.

    • BlueCord Dad says:

      While I see what you’re saying I respectfully disagree. There is as they say the letter and the spirit of the law. Putting your hands on someone and tackling a nut job who just stole a handgun are poles apart. He got the shaft. Hope he gets a better gig…

    • Tallywhagger says:

      Agreed. Mr. Crouch acted with good intent but that intent was of his own volition, entirely independent of Academy. From a corporate perspective, Academy is acting in their own interest.

      Dean Crouch has shown the stuff he’s made of and it is the right stuff. Hell, maybe the local PD is looking for a man just like him.

      I commend his courage and wish him greater prosperity and opportunity. moving forward. FWIW, the Tallahassee mayor and Florida Governor, alike, owe Mr. Crouch recognition and commendation for his actions.

      • Poetrooper says:

        “Academy is acting in their own interest.”

        And if that perp kills an innocent, a civil jury will surely find that corporate policy to be selfish and detrimental to the safety of the community. Betcha a Tallahassee jury is more concerned about the safety of their citizens than Academy’s ass-covering policy.

        • Tallywhagger says:

          There is a well defined villain in the story. The victim is less clearly defined. It’s understandable that Dean Crouch can be seen as a victim. In substance, Academy, Inc. is the primary victim.

          That Academy wants to limit their exposure to a civil action is their preemptive defense. The criminal side of the incident will still be prosecuted.

          What amazes me is that the court let the perp out on bail for a trivial bond of $5K!

          After the OJ fiasco, I have lost a lot of confidence in trial by jury system. Thank goodness some other jurors were able to act responsibly and/or reasonably in that civil decision and verdict.

          Back to the Tallahassee story, imagine if a customer, in stead of a store employee, had acted to stop the perp? What a vastly different characterization the story might have taken 🙂

    • desert says:

      I guess that would be someones attitude if they had been brainwashed by the vermin in this country! imho! Run, don’t stand up and be counted!

  4. AnotherPat says:

    MustangCryppie and HMC Ret nailed it.

    Updated good news is that Dean Crouch and his family are receiving support nation wide with Dean being offered jobs. Additionallly, a Go Fund Me site has been started:

    https://www.tallahassee.com/story/news/2018/07/12/support-floods-ousted-academy-manager/778561002/

    As shared before, something good always comes out of something bad. He may end up with a better paying job with more benefits.

  5. rgr769 says:

    I bet the anti-gunners and Hogg-boi will be loudly supporting Couch for preventing someone who shouldn’t be allowed to have a gun from acquiring one. (NOT)

  6. Bill M says:

    Academy Sports does not want the business of law-abiding, responsible people in this country. They just want to cater to the low-lifes who steal and threaten. OK by me. I don’t need to patronize them. May they suffer the consequences.

  7. 26Limabeans says:

    All that fuss over a Glock?

    • jim h says:

      it still reliably goes bang. worst case, dude goes out in the lot, loads up and reenters the store with intent. people get shot up while the po-po stacks up outside and try to talk to him. then everyone is all “why didn’t he *do* something?

      lose/lose.

      this is better though. he won’t be charged criminally, and he gets a better gig this way.

      lose/win.

      speaking as a badge, you’d truly be appalled at how many stolen guns are not recovered…until it’s much too late.

    • 1610desig says:

      Good one! I have just one (old probably gen 1 Glock 30) that I’ve kept in my truck for 12 plus years…damn if it isn’t ugly and blocky but does reliably go bang and is reasonably accurate given the short sight distance…I keep the prettier and more “valuable” old school all steel/wood gripped pistols in the safe or on my person..

  8. David says:

    FYI, Academy’s website has a customer chat line. Worth stopping by and (politely) expressing displeasure; that will get their attention far more than internet comments.

    • 1610desig says:

      I registered my displeasure just now…took less than 5 minutes…and the thing is I LOVE Academy Sports stores…great prices and availability and nothing like the appropriately named “Dicks”. Told them to do right by Crouch or I’m done with them for a long while

      • David says:

        I just said their actions will impact future buying decisions. Within a short drive of my house are at least three Academy’, a Bass Pro Shop, several independent gun stores and pawnshop, and a speciality reloading store. Me, I got options.

      • Ex-PH2 says:

        It may be that only that particular store has a manager whose brains are made of jackass farts instead of brain tissue.

        I don’t think liability coverage premiums go up if someone stops a crime and prevents any other crimes that might have happened as the result of interference, especially in this case. If the thief had gotten away with the theft and committed more crimes with what he stole, that makes the store and the manager MORE liable than if he had been stopped.

        Ask your insurance agent about it.

        Corporate liability coverage is somewhat different from personal homeowners liability, but not a whole lot different. And there is something called umbrella liability which covers things the business owner or homeowner policies don’t cover quite as well.

  9. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    I understand when a company has a policy that precludes an employee from a physical altercation with a thief or armed robber. It makes good business sense for several reasons. But–and here’s the Big Butt–when a thief is stealing a firearm, it’s a sure bet he’s not stealing it for range use. It will be used in a crime and it may cost someone his life. Crouch may well have saved a life and for that he’s shown the door. Cripes. What assholes.

  10. Sparks says:

    If we had an Academy Sports here, which we don’t, I would never darken their door now, unless they rehire Mr. Crouch.

    The local gun stores in my area would not tackle anyone. The thief would be stopped by several rounds from several sides.

    Mr. Crouch needs to file suit for wrongful termination. If the ass hole had sprinted for the door with a protein bar, that’s one thing (I’d still have tackled his worthless ass). But having shown he is a thief and having run off with a weapon, magazines and ammo, he is a greater threat to anyone he came across. Including the LE Officers who may have taken rounds while attempting arrest.

    I’m going to their site and laying on hard and heavy.

  11. 1610desig says:

    It wouldn’t perhaps have been the demographic of the perp that helped establish corporate Academy’s position? One
    “wrong” move and it’s BLM, Holder, Sharpton, Jackson etc. conducting noisy boycotts.

  12. Mark Lauer says:

    And after that guy had taken that gun to a local mall, or school and started killing people until he himself was killed, the cry would have been “why didn’t someone DO something?” And that store would have been sending out crocodile tears and messages of support in hopes they wouldn’t get sued because the gun was taken from their store.
    “Actions inconsistent with corporate policies…” ?
    Yeah, my left nut. If that’s your policy; allow people to run off with stolen guns, then fuck your corporation.

  13. Jeff LPH 3, 63-66 says:

    So what would happen at academy if someone walks in with 3 sticks of dynamite and is starting to light the fuse. Do nothing??? No, the store manager would call the Police. Works if the fuze maybe was longer than it take for the LEO’S to get there. I don’t know the burning rate of fuzes are so I cannot tell how many feet would be involved. Any idea from you EOD guys out there??? I did take a Sub Course on explosive’s Demolitions when I was in the ARNG back in 1975-1977 but no hands on. Forgot most of the stuff I gleened from numerious Sub Courses I took.

  14. Veritas Omnia Vincit says:

    While I fully understand why this sort of policy is in place there are always acceptable exceptions to every rule.

    The interesting thing about policy is that one can change the policy from time to time and there were several options in place had they chosen to utilize them besides simple termination.

    If termination was the only listed punishment they could still terminate and immediately rehire with a raise and call it a new position. There were any number of creative ways to make this right without being shitheads….but like most executives they only know how to be shitheads. Which is why so many bureaucracies slowly strangle their host organizations in the private sector, they become so risk adverse they no longer innovate or advance and get blown out by competitors unencumbered by the weight of so many CYA turds.

    Seems like this young man will be fine eventually, too bad Academy chose to handle it so poorly.

  15. MSG Eric says:

    If they hadn’t fired him, I doubt they’d get as much publicity about the situation, especially with the current media.

    As has been said, if the perp were stealing a t-shirt or even a cash drawer, so be it. Insurance will cover it, just write a statement. But, this is someone stealing a firearm who has intent to use it for nefarious purposes. Plain n’ simple.

    At worst, they should have told him how dangerous it was and slap on the wrist. While at the same time thanking him for saving one or more lives from a potential killing machine.

    Glad to see he’s getting help and things will work out better for him due to this.

  16. OldManchu says:

    They can hire Bradley Manning in his place and let this Alpha Male move on to bigger and better things!

  17. Green Thumb says:

    Last time I go in one of their stores….

  18. FatCircles0311 says:

    Another shitty company more worried. about litigation over all else.

    • desert says:

      With a company policy like that, they are inviting the vermin “c’mon in, help yourself” and to hell with the safety of the customers in the store….they need to go out of business imho

  19. AW1Ed says:

    Retail sucks, as I well know. Served a stretch of servitude at Radio Squack* in between Navy and govvie contractor. Similar policies, but that didn’t mean I couldn’t toss sketchy looking people out before anything happened. And I did. That being said, I sure as fuck would not take a bullet for Radio Shack’s till, either.

    I can see both sides of this. Head office sets a blanket policy to protect employees and cover their asses, but like all “Zero Tolerance” diktats there are situations where policy breaks down and people get hurt for doing the right thing. This is one.

    Hope Mr. Crouch lands on his feet.

    *my “other” job at the time was managing a 160 acre horse farm. glad to be rid of both.

  20. Ex-PH2 says:

    I’m going to put on my Special Dave Hardin Pussy Hat and tell youse guys youse got it all wrong.

    Academy is a pussy-assed company that is afraid of its own shadow, so instead of giving the good guy (Crouch) a raise for preventing a theft that could have backfird on Academy as a business for selling these dreadful things in the first place, Academy turned the other ass cheek and smacked Mr. Crouch for NOT being a whipped pussy assed-employee too meek to live.

    The fact that he stopped a potential crime spree from happening is just icing on the Cake of Punishment for being a good guy.

    Youse guys are so silly! Almost pulled a Yefism, Academy did, but it’s so low on the scale it could quite climb that high.

    • HMCS(FMF) ret says:

      ” Special Dave Hardin Pussy Hat”.!?!?

      Can I get one of those online?

      • Ex-PH2 says:

        Someone somewhere makes them on a knitting machine.

        Think of the huge profits. You use $.10 worth of yarn to created an idiotic head covering and sell it for $2.00 to $3.50, depending on the market place you’re in.

        Could we sell TAH pussy hats? Probably, if the SV fakirs would buy them. (Fakirs instead of fakers is intentional.)

    • Poetrooper says:

      Wow, Ex, you’re starting to write like one of the guys! And here you’ve always been so lady-like before.

      Heh…

  21. Jorge says:

    By the way folks, Happy National Archives Fire Day! Near and dear to all the sv jackasses you guys tackle every day.

  22. CAR POG MOH says:

    Here’s what I think:

    Of course the company has to take a stance against employees apprehending known/suspected shoplifters. I mean, imagine a 14yo kid sticking a baseball in his pocket, heading for the door, and being power bombed by some dickhead shoe salesman. On second thought, that’ll learn’m.

    But what the company fails to see is that in this case, much like law to some degree, not everything is simply black & white. We’re talking about a little place I like to call “Logicland.”

    Reporter: “Is it acceptable within your company for employees to use physical force to stop shoplifting?”

    Fictional executive with balls: “Of course it isn’t, but today we feel our employee acted bravely and decisively to bring a stop to an action that could have, if not halted, directly threatened the life safety of our customers, employees, & the general public. You see, we’re a legal & reputable firearms dealer & we will go to any length to ensure that doesn’t change. The real criminal is in jail as we speak.”

    …Or you fire the guy & hope bleeding hearts line up around the block to give you money…Hell, I don’t know.

  23. gitarcarvert says:

    This story ran in our local paper which is a subsidiary of USA Today.

    In the comments was a comment from a person who claimed to have worked at the Jacksonville store with Dean Crouch.

    The poster claimed that Crouch had been the subject of several “investigations” of employee complaints.

    The poster also claimed that Crouch had fired a couple of employees that chased shoplifters including an employee who chased down and tackled a robber who stole a knife from the counter.

    The first accusation may be typical hyperbole against managers.

    The second one is a bit different in that if he fired others for the same infraction, he not only knew of the policy and knew of the penalty, he doesn’t have much of a leg to stand on, in my opinion.

    From a managerial point of view, you can’t fire people for the thing that you do and not expect the same penalty.

    In addition, if there were employee complaints that were found to be true, that may be why Academy felt they had to let him go as it was an accumulation of things.

    I am just offering a different point of view and suggesting that perhaps we don’t know all of the story.

  24. Hondo says:

    Another reason to shop local small business for some things. Often the price difference between them and the “big box” stores is surprisingly small.

    • 26Limabeans says:

      Even the big box stores vary widely such as Walmart vs Tractor Supply. I have found 10-15% difference between the two stores less than a mile apart.
      At least you won’t get shot at Walmart…..oh, wait….well maybe Tractor Supply.

  25. Thunderstixx says:

    We seem to have a plethora of barracks lawyers here today…
    It’s the principle of the thing. The employer has every right to fire him, that doesn’t make it right. 7-11 fires employees that protect themselves with a gun when they pull it and shoot some moron thug sticking a gun in their face.
    Again, they sure have the right to shitcan them, but it was their life on the line, not the corporation honchos…
    Catches a bad guy and gets tossed to the curb.
    So the punk goes somewhere else like a gun shop and tries to steal a gun and hopefully gets blown away !!!
    I buy a lot of ammo from them, they are cheaper than any of the discount ammo places and they are only 150 yards from my front door !!!

  26. gitarcarver says:

    Crouch has been rehired by Academy Sports:

    Dean Crouch has been rehired as a manager at the Tallahassee location of Academy Sports + Outdoors after being fired earlier this week.

    Crouch spoke to the head of the Texas-based outdoors store Friday and has been reemployed, according to his attorney.

    “I am pleased to report that the head of Academy Sports + Outdoors stores spoke with Mr. Crouch and offered him his job back and Mr. Crouch accepted,” his attorney Ryan Hobbs said.

    A company spokeswoman confirmed Crouch’s reemployment.

    Source: https://www.floridatoday.com/story/news/2018/07/13/academy-rehires-dean-crouch-after-national-brouhaha/782368002/

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