Wal-Mart worker says he was fired for helping woman fight off attacker

A Wal-Mart clerk from Michigan says he was fired after helping a woman who was being assaulted in the store parking lot.

Kristopher Oswald said he took a lunch break from an overnight shift stocking pet food about 2:30 a.m. Sunday when he heard a woman screaming.

The 30-year-old Oswald told WXYZ-TV that he saw a man hanging from the hood of the woman’s car, so he walked over to see if she was in danger or just horsing around recklessly.

Oswald said the man began punching him in the head and threatened to kill him, but he was able to subdue his assailant for a moment before two other men jumped on top of him from behind.

Livingston County sheriff’s deputies arrived at that point and ended the attack.

But Wal-Mart fired Oswald, stating in his termination papers that he’d violated company policy on his lunch break.

Oswald said the company has policies against workplace violence that prevent employees from assaulting coworkers or tackling shoplifters, but he said Wal-Mart apparently doesn’t permit employees to assist in situations of imminent danger or self-defense.

A spokeswoman for Wal-Mart told The Associated Press on Thursday that the company understood Oswald’s intentions, but his actions violated company policy.

Oswald began working for Wal-Mart about seven weeks ago and would not have been considered a permanent hire until a 180-day probation period ended.

Watch this WXYZ-TV report that aired Oct. 13, 2013: