A Portland, Oregon Home Depot employee stopped a kidnapping back in May. Dillon Reagan, 32, was being hailed as a hero for his quick thinking and rapid response. Yet Home Depot fired Reagan after he reportedly violated the company’s safety policy. The response from the public wasn’t favorable.
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And now Home Depot has caved to the public pressure and offered Reagan his job back.
“At the time, the only thing I was thinking about was the child’s safety,” said Reagan. An argument had broken out in the parking lot. A domestic dispute had turned violent and another employee had run in and asked Reagan to help.
“I stepped outside and sure enough, there’s this lady whose frantic and crying, ‘Somebody help me please! He’s stealing my kid, he’s kidnapping my child!’”
Reagan and the other employee called police. The dispatcher asked that the pair follow the man who had taken the child. So the two pursued him on foot. When the police arrived, they were able to give detailed evidence. And that was it. The pair then returned to the Home Depot and resumed their shifts. The whole incident lasted about 10 minutes.
That clearly shouldn’t have been the end, and it wasn’t. A supervisor called Reagan in for a meeting. “He said, ‘You did the wrong thing. You should have just gone back to work,’” Reagan said.
A month later, he was fired. Home Depot said he’d been given two citations in one month. One was for the kidnapping incident, another was for arguing with another employee. Few agreed with the decision. Even the Oregon Employment Department.
“[Stopping the kidnapping] was still the right thing to do,” said Reagan. “I was kind of in a catch-22 situation, I’m damned if I do, damned if I don’t.”
“This was a very complex situation, so we’re taking another look at the decision. We always want to be certain that we’re treating any associate fairly.”
After the public outcry, Home Depot took yet another look.
“We took a second look at this and have let Mr. Reagan know 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.”
Will Reagan go back to Home Depot? “Honestly, at this point, no.”
“Going back to work at Home Depot may not be ideal and I am still hesitant and wary about being back, but I think it’s the best choice, right now,” he said.