Walmart employee fired after trying to help assault victim in parking lot

HARTLAND, Mich. - "The last thing I expected was to not have a job," said Kristopher Oswald, 30, who was fired from Walmart this week after he intervened to help a woman who was apparently being assaulted in the parking lot of the store.

It happened around 2:30 a.m. outside the Walmart store in the Livingston County, Mich., town of Hartland.

Oswald, who worked stocking pet food on the overnight shift at Walmart, was spending his lunch break in his car when he heard a woman screaming and a man hanging onto the hood of her car.

At first, Oswald wondered if it was just people horsing around recklessly, but when he walked over to see if the woman was really in danger, he says the man began to attack him, punching him in the head while yelling "I'm going to kill you."

Oswald told RTV6's Scripps sister station Action News that he was able to get on top of the man and just when he thought he had him under control, two other men jumped Oswald from behind.

Livingston County Sheriff deputies were quick to arrive, but Oswald says he wasn't expecting what Walmart did next.

The company fired Oswald, and the reason given on his termination papers states: "after a violation of company policy on his lunch break, it was determined to end his temporary assignment."

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

Oswald says Walmart has policies against workplace violence to prevent employees from assaulting co-workers or tackling a shoplifter, but that it appears that nothing allows for them to assist in situations of imminent danger and self-defense.

Now that he's out of a job, Oswald says, "I don't even know what to put on an application about all of this. How do I say this ended?"

When asked if he would do it all over again, Oswald replied, "I will always do the right thing."

Action News has left messages with Walmart's media relations team, but they have not responded.
 

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