• Fired Academy Sports manager receiving nationwide support, job offers

    By: USA Today

    Updated:

    A man in South Dakota offered to send money for Dean Crouch and his family in Tallahassee. An Alaska-based gun store chain offered a management position. Heck, even local eat and drinkery Madison Social offered to let the 32-year-old pick up a few shifts to cover the bills.

    Crouch was fired Tuesday from his job as a manager of the Academy Sports on Mahan Drive after tackling and subduing Jason White, who was fleeing the store with what police say was a stolen .40-caliber handgun, ammo and other items picked up of the shelves. 

    An Academy Sports spokeswoman said he was fired in accordance with corporate policy, but she declined to detail the policy.

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    That policy has rankled people across the country who have come out in support of Crouch and condemnation of Academy. Some have even called for a boycott of the Texas-based sporting goods store.

    “It is such a tragic and horrific situation he would lose his job for doing the right thing,” wrote Howard Scow of Sturgis, South Dakota, in an email to the Tallahassee Democrat. “Shame on Academy Sporting Goods!”

    Madison Social reached out on Twitter trying to locate Crouch to offer him a few shifts.

    “If anyone knows Dean Crouch – the Academy sports manager that was fired after tackling a guy who stole a gun and threatened to shoot people – have him message us,” the College Town bar wrote. “Happy to try and get him some shifts to help him support his family in the transition.”

    Crouch’s Tallahassee attorney Ryan Hobbs said his client has had job offers from around the country and is interviewing at the Tallahassee Bass Pro Shops, which sits just a block east of his former place of employment.

    A GoFund Me page seeking $10,000 to “save Dean Crouch’s home” has been established in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, after the story was picked up by Fox News Wednesday.

    “There are opportunities being presented to him and he is taking a close look at each and every one of them,” Hobbs said.

    Meanwhile, White posted $5,000 bail and was released from the Leon County jail on July 6. He faces three counts of grand theft of a firearm after being connected to the theft of two other guns from a pawn shop just hours before he entered Academy Sports.

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    White admitted to stealing the gun and threatened to shoot people with it, according to court records. Those documents indicate those threats but do not mention threats to kill police officers as Crouch’s attorney claims.

    White, according to court records, said he and his family were being threatened by an unknown person and he wanted the gun to “kill him."

    “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.

    Many have said Crouch did the right thing in the face a company policy that needs to be reviewed. The expressions of support mean a lot to the Crouches, his attorney said.

     “He and his family appreciate the support they’re receiving,” Hobbs said. “Not just from the local community but from around the country acknowledging him as the hero that we believe he is.”

    Follow Karl Etters on Twitter @KarlEtters.

     

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