Glen Burnie Pizza Hut Demotes Driver For Defending Himself During Attack

| December 29, 2012
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SamSwicegood-500x281Fox News picked up on a Glen Burnie incident where a pizza delivery driver for Pizza Hut was demoted and is currently looking for work for defending himself during an attack.  Sam Swicegood was attacked on December 17th by a group of five teens and he defended himself with a part of a tent pole that was in his car. His attackers did not get any money, or the pizzas, but Sam was demoted for violating a company policy on carrying weapons. He was told by Pizza Hut that he would no longer be allowed to drive for the company and has been demoted to kitchen staff and his scheduled hours have been reduced.

The online outrage has been fueled by Pizza Hut’s lack of any response. The Pizza Hut Facebook page has been inundated with comments questioning why the chain, which also owns Taco Bell and KFC, places so little value on the safety of their employees.

Twitter has been no less harsh.

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As we have seen in the past, when social media is left unchecked, the targeted company is usually the one who gets hurt. The story has been viral for nearly 18 hours and Pizza Hut has yet to offer a response, however, in the midst of the controversy, they saw fit to respond to a customer complaining that her pizza was not as gooey as she would have liked.

Even as the conversation continued to heat up, Pizza Hut continued to ignore it and created a post to their Facebook page about how to eat their wings.

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Sam Swicegood has a posse of supporters who are calling for a boycott of Pizza Hut and their affiliated brands. A Facebook Page was published less than an hour ago and already has several hundred “likes.”

What do you think about Pizza Hut’s policy? Was Sam right in defending himself?

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Category: Anne Arundel County Crime, Crime News, NEWS

About the Author ()

John is the publisher and editor of Eye On Annapolis. As a resident and business owner in Anne Arundel County for more than 15 years, he realized that there was something missing in terms of community news--and Eye On Annapolis was born in late spring 2009.John's background is in the travel industry as a business owner, industry speaker, and travel writer. In terms of blogging and social media, he cut his teeth with MSNBC.com.
  • http://www.facebook.com/mike.myers.3551380 Mike Myers

    He needs an attorney. The right to life is an inaleniable right. No employer can compel an employee to sacrafice their life in the furtherance of their business.

    • http://www.facebook.com/thaylin0 Chris Bowen

      as someone who delivered pizza’s for 10 years, what this driver did was stupid, as is your statement. The company does not care about the pizza or the money in these cases, only the driver and the other employees. They want the driver to be safe, they can take the lose of 40 bucks. By fighting back he put himself and other delivery drivers at risk.

      • Bobby B

        We should let thugs do as they wish and steal, assault and rob to their heart’s content? No wonder Baltimore is the way it is with people of that mindset voting.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000083689221 Ian Hayes

        People have a right to defend themselves. Its not about crappy pizza or $40 but one’s right to do one’s business unmolested. I suppose this guy should have just taken the beating at the hands of 5 opponents?

        • http://www.facebook.com/thaylin0 Chris Bowen

          You are assuming much that is not in the article. It says he was attacked, not beaten, attacked can just as easily mean robbed at weapon point. And again, what do you do about next time, when they come after the drivers with guns because they know they will have to put up a bigger fight? What about that poor driver, I quess oh well, at least the last one defended himself over 40 bucks. The policy is there to protect lives, not do business unmolested.

          • Frank Black

            Thats silly…. To assume that if the driver had a weapon that the assailant would bring a bigger weapon. IF they carry a weapon they are less likely to get attacked. Criminals want the path of least resistance. Thats why you don’t see teenage thugs robbing biker gangs.

            By your flawed logic if the driver brings a gun the robber will bring a rocket launcher. Where does your arms race end? At portable nukes?

            If you don’t carry a weapon and want to advertise it, go ahead. Put a sign on your car if you are comfortable with that and see how long it is before someone beats you unconscious. Maybe takes your case and leaves you brain damaged or dead. Good luck with that.

          • http://www.facebook.com/thaylin0 Chris Bowen

            Less likely to be attacked maybe, but more likely to be harmed or killed when they are attacked. My logic is fine, yours on the other hand only see what it wants to see. I never carried a weapon in 10 years, and dispute delivering in some of the worst areas never once was harmed.

          • Just Me

            The policy is meaningless; giving robbers what they demand is NO guarantee they won’t kill you!

          • thatoneguy

            Fighting back is no guarantee you’ll live either.

          • http://www.facebook.com/wesley.craft Wesley Craft

            You (and the PH corporate policy makers) are assuming that criminals only ever want money. Too many people these days enjoy inflicting pain and even death. There’s no way that in the moment, a driver could know which his attackers were intending.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000083689221 Ian Hayes

            So you’re advocating just rolling over, and hoping that the attacker(s) doesn’t decide to bash your brains in for the effort? Such naiveté.

        • Not Dumb As Some

          He defended himself with a metal rod. If these five men wanted to, they could have jumped him and did a lot of damage. What if they were armed and shot him? It’s stupid to bring a stick to a gun fight.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000083689221 Ian Hayes

            I don’t think the pizza guy was expeding to be in any kind of fight. Kudos for him for being able to improvise and defend himself against multiple attackers.

      • Just Me

        Sorry, criminals are not entitled to helpless victims, no matter what some corporate type with bodyguards says.

      • http://twitter.com/sojourne Jaunting Stray

        Your logic is flawed beyond sense. You are suggesting that all they wanted was the $40 and some pizza. How in the hell do you know they didn’t or weren’t (or wouldn’t) just attack him from the beginning to get what they want whether he gave it to them or not. How moronic. Did it occur to you that these guys (or any criminal) would not want to be identified? I don’t think anyone walks up to someone and demands their money casually and wishes them a nice day before they leave. Seriously, dude. Think before you speak! Also, it is unlikely that this one guy is going to affect/change all delivery robberies in the future. It’s been happening for a long time and I’m pretty sure he’s not the only one to fight back.

        • Nathair /|

          ” I don’t think anyone walks up to someone and demands their money casually and wishes them a nice day before they leave. ”
          Only in Ankh-Morpork.

    • Tony Walker

      Too bad the only thing he got in trouble for was carrying a weapon in the vehicle with him. Pizza Hut can do whatever the hell they want, he broke their rules. It has nothing to do with him being attacked, win or lose, or if someone wanted the free pizza or money. He broke a rule, no weapons. Suck it up and accept your punishment.

  • thecactusman17

    I was threatened with termination at a small mom-n-pop chain on the west coast for leaving a rapidly deteriorating situation before it escalated to violence due to highly unreasonable customers, and refused to go back for my own safety. When they told me that if I “ever did that again” I would be fired, I handed back my directions for the day and told them I quit, and that I refused to wok for a company that cared so little for the safety of its employees. Haven’t been back since, and friends still working there say business dropped off with customers complaining about the “lack of quality service.”

    Any delivery place should know: your drivers are the public face of your company, the first responders to a bad customer experience and the last line of defense when it comes to preserving your company’s image. Mistreat them at your own peril.

    • http://www.movies-suck.com/ Wastrel Way

      Interesting story. I’ve quit jobs for many reasons and sometimes just because I was tired of working for someone. Are you suggesting that Swicegood should quit, or what’s your point?

      • thecactusman17

        I’m suggesting that he should work for a company that sees him as more valuable than the pizzas he’s selling. Barring that, he should find work where he will not be punished for protecting himself with non-lethal force. Never work for a company where you are not trusted to judge and respond to a dangerous workplace situation yourself.

        Second-guessing the intent of a violent or agitated person is only going to get you hurt and allow the situation to escalate. If you can get away, do so ASAP. If you need to go through an attacker to do it, then do so without hesitation and remove yourself ASAP. I delivered pizzas for some time in a city that used to make national headlines for violence in some neighborhoods. I never went anywhere without a Maglight the size of my arm tucked under the pizza box. Thankfully, I never had to use it for anything other than getting house numbers. Possibly because it was so obvious.

    • http://www.facebook.com/thaylin0 Chris Bowen

      Your post shows why what the driver did was wrong, Instead of trying to get out of there, or just hand over the food and money he escalated the situation. Next time the robbers may come back with guns, and that is what pizza hut was trying to prevent.

      • thecactusman17

        No. I live in a high crime area and we had to deal with the threat of this all the time. If he gave the money, the same group would be doing it to another driver a few days later. Happened to many of our competition, only happened to one of us. On the other hand, after one successful store robbery at our location it happened three more times before I left. In at least one of those cases, they shot the glass door out while people were inside. Nobody there ever tried to attack back.

        Sounds like the guy was attacked before or while getting the pizza out–you can tell because you don’t hold onto a pizza when you’re fighting somebody off, much less 5 guys. So he was probably grabbing the pizza out of his car, was attacked while his back was turned, and switched to grabbing the tent pole.

      • http://twitter.com/parnamjazz Peter

        handing over money and food is not a guarantee that the people involved will not hurt, maim or kill the delivery driver. In fact, if someone has just robbed you, they may well decide that they do not want to leave a witness to their theft. Or maybe they were not really after food/money – maybe their prime motive was to beat/terrorize someone, and by NOT facing them down, you are effectively saying ‘Come and get me’

        • http://www.facebook.com/thaylin0 Chris Bowen

          Again, this is something where the details are short in the article, but even that does not matter. He broke policy, something he knew before hand and agreed to.

      • Sax1031

        you might like to live your life as a pussy. a lot of other people don’t.

        • http://www.facebook.com/thaylin0 Chris Bowen

          Its not called being a pussy, it is called using intelligence. Why dont know go beat on the ground some, I will use tools.

          • Sax1031

            #1 instinct = self preservation. when 6 guys physically attack you the intelligent response is to defend yourself. the unintelligent response is to get attacked and do nothing.

          • CrazyHorse

            I would argue that the 5 guys who went after 1 pizza guy were pussies.

      • CrazyHorse

        Chris, think before you speak. You have been trolling and sniping on comments all along here, why not just go with the guy who stood up to protect himself? You are assuming that the 5 kids wanted money and pizza. What if they wanted his car? His wallet? Hmmm, wallet (License, address, credit cards)…Car (house keys). What was to stop them from driving to his house and cleaning it out? Better yet, what if his family of 4 (assuming) was home? What would they have done to the wife and kids? You keep using your tools to pound on the ground and brag about your 10 years of experience with delivering pizza, I’ll continue making a difference in society. Stay in school.

  • http://twitter.com/parnamjazz Peter

    when was the last time you heard of a guy killing 27 people with a tent pole?
    exactly. A tent pole in the car is not ‘carrying a weapon’.
    I’d like to see the board of directors of PizzaTacoKFC each do a week on delivery.

    • http://www.facebook.com/thaylin0 Chris Bowen

      So killing is the only thing you can do with a weapon now? Now hurt, maim, or dismember?

      • http://twitter.com/parnamjazz Peter

        whoosh…. that was the point going straight over your head.
        The point is, Pizzahut demoted the guy for having a weapon. A tent pole is something you could have in your car for many reasons; some of them entirely unrelated to killing, hurting, maiming or dismembering people

        • http://www.facebook.com/thaylin0 Chris Bowen

          Woosh, that was logic going straight over your head… By using it as a weapon, it became a weapon, which he was carrying in his car.

          • http://www.facebook.com/wesley.craft Wesley Craft

            We should outlaw tent poles now…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1066825917 Bryan J. Maloney

    Yum! Brands is a megacorporation. Human life means nothing to their ilk. If a Pizza Hut driver dies, they won’t care in the least.

    • http://www.facebook.com/thaylin0 Chris Bowen

      Odd, the policy is there to save human life, not to help their bushiness but keep your condescending attitude man.

  • Bobby B

    It’s too bad Glen Burnie has become Baltimoreized, and the chicken shyt folks that run Pizza Hut are helping that cancer spread. Section 8 is great folks, exporting thug trash to a once nice suburb. Thank you People’s Republic of Maryland and Supreme Leader Owe’Malley!

  • sidray

    There seems to be a lot of people in here that have no idea about human nature. Thugs like the ones this brave driver fought off understand only one thing, fear. Either they are afraid of you or you’re afraid of them.

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  • http://obbop.wordpress.com/ obbop

    Silly USA commoner class.

    Your duty is to obey your masters.

    Obey the ruling class and corporate masters along with their lackey politicians and bureaucrats.

  • http://www.facebook.com/thaylin0 Chris Bowen

    And the next day you can have the cops there to catch them. You are not using logic. Police love helping the pizza guy.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=632001428 Kitwench Ferret

    The employer has a greater risk of damage of they respond instantly as if a multi-million dollar corporation was a 13yo on Twitter…

    The management directly involved must do paperwork on the incident.
    That’s got to go up the chain of command and then lawyers have to look at everything – even saying that they feel bad about the attack opens them up to a lawsuit these days…

    We’ve created a system where the average citizen sitting on a jury can give millions of dollars in damages to someone for an incident in which that person wasn’t even harmed – FROM the pockets of someone who wasn’t even involved – and we’re surprised that corporations put policies in place that take time, caution, and an army of lawyers?

    You’ll all gripe here and scream and rant, but still call delivery next time you’re stoned – and they know it.

    As for the the folks responsible for updating Social Media for major corporations?
    Do you really think those posts aren’t set up days in advance and previously approved and chosen by people who have nothing to do with actually touching the website???
    The guy typing the tweet or FB post isn’t allowed to give his own personal opinion !

    But hey, it’s easy to get all outraged and type a rant.

  • MikeL

    What an immoral company. Shameful

  • CrazyHorse

    The article didn’t even mention the most important part, “Did the people ever get their pizza delivered?” Must have been waiting for hours!

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