Oct 25 A Michigan man rejected an offer from
Wal-Mart Stores Inc to rehire him after he was fired for
helping a woman who was being attacked in the store parking lot
during his meal break.
Kristopher Oswald, 30, who worked nights stocking shelves at
a Wal-Mart store in Hartland Township, located northwest of
Detroit, said on Friday that he does not feel safe going back to
"I believe my job was only offered to me because of the
negative publicity they received," Oswald said. "There is no way
I can expect to walk in as if I was a new hire and everything
would be OK."
A spokeswoman for Wal-Mart said the company has a strict
policy against retaliation and offered to accommodate Oswald
with safety measures such as an escort to and from his vehicle
into the store.
"His position is still open to him now if he wants to come
back to the store. We'd welcome him back," company spokeswoman
Brooke Buchanan said.
She also said the company offered to reimburse Oswald for
Wal-Mart said Oswald's initial firing resulted from his
violation of company policy that requires employees to alert
store management and call police instead of intervening in
Publicity about the firing prompted Wal-Mart's corporate
office to review the parking lot security footage and police
report, Buchanan said. Oswald, a temporary employee who had
worked seven weeks for the company prior to the incident, was
offered his job back.
"Everyone makes mistakes and so do companies," Buchanan
Oswald was sitting in his car around 2:30 a.m. on October
13, eating a sandwich, when he heard a woman scream, he said. A
man was sprawled on the hood of the woman's car. When she tried
to pry him off her vehicle, he attacked her.
Oswald said he confronted the man, who then began punching
him in the head and threatening to kill him. He was able to
subdue the man, but then two other men jumped him from behind.
Local authorities arrived on the scene and quickly broke up
Oswald said he is seeking therapy to work through the trauma
of the attack.
"I'm being haunted by this incident because I'm not a
violent person," Oswald said. "All I did was what anyone should
have done in that situation."