Two Missouri Starbucks baristas have reportedly lost their jobs after throwing hands with two robbers. According to The Independent, the incident occurred on December 17 at a location in St. Louis.
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Here’s What Happened At To The Starbucks Baristas
According to the outlet, 20-year-old Michael Harris was working at a Starbucks drive-thru when two masked men entered. The men reportedly directed everyone in the restaurant to get on the ground.
Initially, Harris complied with the men’s demands, following training protocol. From there, the men instructed Harris to open the cash register. However, he did not have access because he was not a manager.
According to Harris, this is when one of the assailants struck him in the back of the head with their gun.
“At that point, I thought he was going to shoot me,” Harris reportedly explained to The New York Post.
That’s when his co-worker, Devin Jones-Ransom, noticed “something suspicious” about the weapon. This led Jones-Ransom to believe it was fake.
Harris and co-workers then defended themselves against the robbers. According to The Independent, the duo managed to subdue one of the assailants until police arrived. The other reportedly escaped the Starbucks but was later apprehended by authorities.
According to the outlet, the robbery suspects have been identified as Joshua Noe and Marquise Porter-Doyle. They have reportedly been hit with 11 felony charges, which include various degrees of robbery, attempted robbery, and assault, per The Riverfront Times.
As for Harris and his co-worker, the pair have allegedly lost their jobs.
“I got a call a few weeks later,” Harris reportedly explained. “
Once the media died down. They told me they were terminating me. I was surprised. I was distraught. I was confused.”
According to his attorney, Ryan Krupp, Harris, and Jones-Ransom were terminated by Starbucks without explanation of the company policies they allegedly violated.
The Independent reportedly obtained a statement from Starbucks regarding the incident and their subsequent decision.
“Partner safety is at the core of how we operate in our stores, and we are so grateful that our partners and customers did not come to greater harm in this situation,” the statement read. “In situations like this, our training and protocols guide our partners to comply and de-escalate, not just for their safety but for the safety of all in the store.”
One Former Barista Speaks Out Amid Legal Action
According to the outlet, the attorney believes that his client had a right to defend himself after being assaulted with a weapon.
“When the robbers came in, my client complied and tried to open the cash register when he was struck in the head by one of the gunmen,” he reportedly explained to The New York Post. “At that point, you’re in a position to defend yourself… Mr. Harris did the right thing. Starbucks cannot put their corporate liability policy above Mr. Harris’s human rights.”
Harris and his lawyer are reportedly filing “a number of human rights and discrimination charges against Starbucks.”
“Although Starbucks terminated Michael from a position of power, they will be on an equal playing field with Michael when they see the jury in this case,” Krupp added.
Since his termination, Harris has shared his confusion over the matter.
“That job was helping me pay for college,” he told The New York Post. “I just don’t understand it. I thought it was the right thing to do.”
According to Fox Business, the outlet has contacted Devin Jones-Ransom. However, he has yet to respond on the matter.
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