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Tell Safeway: Reinstate Worker Suspended For Preventing Brutal Assault

Tell Safeway: Reinstate Worker Suspended For Preventing Brutal Assault


Safeway has suspended an employee at a store in Del Rey Oaks, near Monterey, California, despite the fact that the man was called a hero by police for stopping a domestic assault in the store.

On April 21, Ryan Young stepped between a man and his girlfriend when they were fighting near the meat counter at the Safeway store. Young later told police the man they arrested, Quyen Van Tran, was kicking the woman, who was five or six months pregnant. When Tran didn’t back down, Young struck him.

“The Guy Was Out Of Control”

From CBS San Francisco:

“Every few seconds he would turn around and push her and then he actually kicked her,” Young said. “I told him to calm down and he was just irate.”


“I saw no one was intervening in the situation and I just became afraid for her safety and also other customers safety,” Young said. “The guy was out of control and pretty much lost it in there.”

Del Rey Oaks Police Chief Ron Langford personally responded to the domestic disturbance call along with other officers. Langford later wrote the store manager a letter commending Young for his actions after the department investigated the incident.

Another Safeway customer who said he witnessed the end of the altercation that day is standing by Young. Harvey Sullivan said he was doing some quick shopping when he heard yelling, witnessed the unruly customer — whom he said smelled like alcohol — fighting with a pregnant woman. Sullivan said he saw Young step between them, then strike the man. He went to put his arm around Young to help defuse the situation and ask if he was OK.

Instead Of Being Lauded As A Hero, Young Was Suspended From His Job

But instead of being lauded for his heroism, Young has been suspended from his job without pay, for supposedly violating company policy. Does this mean company policy makes it OK for a customer to assault another customer in a Safeway store? The hardship is particularly acute because Young and his wife are expecting a baby.

Safeway has urged the public to reserve judgment while it conducts a thorough investigation, saying there are two sides to every story. The company said it is proceeding through the proper grievance procedure laid out in its labor agreement, while the president of the union Young belongs to, UFCW Local 5, has said he’s working with the company to try to expedite that process.

The grocery chain released a statement to CBS affiliate KION on Wednesday. It said:

“Safeway is taking this matter seriously. We have store security video of the incident, and have been engaged in a careful and thoughtful forensic review of what transpired. There are two sides to every story, and we would ask that judgment be reserved. The matter is being handled through the union grievance procedure provided for in our labor agreement. We will be relying on the video and other relevant evidence as well as statements of eyewitnesses and other information to make a final decision. Beyond that, it is premature to comment on a personnel matter of this kind. The safety of our customers and employees is of paramount importance, and we appreciate the public’s patience as we give the issue the time and attention that it deserves.”

Take Action Now To Demand The Reinstatement Of Ryan Young!

What on earth is the issue here? Of course Ryan Young should get his job back. And why, almost a month after this incident, has no action been taken? How long does it take to watch a surveillance video?

If you agree, please sign our petition, demanding that Ryan Young be reinstated in his job, and praised for his heroism, not suspended from his job.


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12:51PM PDT on Jul 6, 2012

Thank you, Ryan! Signed and commented.

10:49AM PDT on Jun 8, 2012

Shame on you Safeway! This man should be rewarded, not punished!

10:36AM PDT on Jun 1, 2012

Not only am I deeply disturbed that Safeway would fire an employee for preventing an assault against a woman, but that they are actually taking time to "deliberate" on how to respond to this? That's disgusting.

The man assaulting that pregnant woman should have the full force of the law brought down upon him, and yet it's the guy who saved the pregnant lady that is being punished.

What kind of fucked up society do we live in?!?!

11:43PM PDT on May 26, 2012


11:42PM PDT on May 26, 2012

He should get reinstated, but I'd recommend that one he does, he walk out and quit.

4:42PM PDT on May 23, 2012

I can only say, John D. that I'm very glad that you are in an extreme minority here. For me, my fear that I "might" hurt the bully would be far outweighed by my fear of what will happen to his victim if he isn't stopped. I was in an abusive relationship, and while I had help and managed to get out without too much damage (and no kids to worry about), what about those who aren't so lucky? I can tell you from my OWN experience that you can't talk a drunken, angry bully down. They hear nothing but whatever their rage tells them. We need more people like Ryan who are willing to step up on their behalf. If you're afraid to do so, don't criticize those who do.

11:48AM PDT on May 23, 2012

Michael M

"And no I'm not talking about beating someone to the point where they're a vegetable."

Thank you for your response. I am not talking about your beating someone to a pulp to stop them. I am talking about a regrettable accident, what would certainly be charged by the authorities as manslaughter in the UK. This is why we are not supposed to take people down if they are beating someone else up.

11:38AM PDT on May 23, 2012

To those 3% of you who voted "leaning yes," perhaps you still think that George W. Bush was a fine President.

In a day and age of "Stand Your Ground," this is the true meaning of the term. Had the employee not intervened the woman might have lost the baby, and then again, if she decides to stay with this fool, perhaps that would not be such a bad thing.

Quyen Van Tran, if you are reading these words, "man up" and get some help.

10:42AM PDT on May 23, 2012

I'd like you to show me where I have made excuses for the abuser. By that, I assume you mean the man hiting the woman? You are lying.

I have taken a position different from yours, that's all, yet you have deduced from this that I would simply "turn away". That's disgraceful and I have stated on this thread what I thought the appropriate actions were and, by extension, what I should've done. And, indeed, I've done it in the past, both by speaking to people and by ringing the police.

10:33AM PDT on May 23, 2012

John D, I based my comment on your posts where you seem to continually try to find excuses for the abuser or the perpertrator.

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