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Pizza Hut: No work for those who defend themselves?


A Pizza Hut deliverer fired shots at an armed robber who threatened his life, wounding him and leading to the criminal’s capture by police. What kind of reward did James Spiers get for his self-defense? Unemployment:

A Des Moines pizza driver who was suspended from his job after he shot an armed robber said today he has been overwhelmed by support from people who cheered what happened.

“But no one had contacted me directly about a job offer,” said James William Spiers III, 38, who was sent home by Pizza Hut managers after he fired multiple shots at a man who put a gun to his head Thursday and demanded money …

Spiers, who has a valid handgun permit, said he’s been “pretty much in the dark” about his job since the incident. Vonnie Walbert, vice president of human resources at Pizza Hut’s corporate offices in Dallas, said last week that employees are not allowed to carry guns “because we believe that that is the safest for everybody.”

“I just know that, given what happened, it’s not likely I’ll have a job anyway,” Spiers said. “Right now, I’m just taking some time off, trying to cool things down.”

Pizza Hut has every right to set its employment conditions. If they think that their corporate image is better served by having their deliverers die on doorsteps around this nation than to have the ability to defend themselves, that’s entirely their decision. People can choose to work for a company that routinely puts them in harms’ way while insisting that they remain defenseless even though legal recourses for their self-defense exist. And they can fire a man who saved his own life and perhaps those of other deliverers by ending the career of a would-be robber and potential murderer.

That’s Pizza Hut’s prerogative. Of course, Pizza Hut’s customers and employees have choices in the matter as well. The deliverers can find work elsewhere for an employer who doesn’t require martyrdom over a ten-dollar delivery. Their customers can opt out by purchasing their pizza elsewhere, from pizza shops that understand that deliverers have the right to defend themselves.

Here’s one story that ended with two dead deliverers. Here’s another from earlier this year. Pittsburgh had one two years ago that remains unsolved. Badger Blogger reports on one from December in Wisconsin, where earlier another deliveryman wound up prosecuted for defending himself. A Chicago woman got murdered in 2006 while delivering pizza. Almost three months ago, another pizza-delivery murder occurred in South Carolina. A Google search turns up 574,000 hits for pizza delivery murder.

Which is more unreasonable: Spiers’ concern for his safety, or Pizza Hut’s lack of concern for it? Make your choice and let Pizza Hut know your decision. Call 1-800-948-8488 to offer your opinion on Spiers’ employment situation
 

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I remember the following story getting a lot of play in the Louisville area back in 2004. Pizza Hut is under the YUM Brands Inc., umbrella which is located in Louisville.

May 18, 2004
Indianapolis Star

Deliveryman: 'It was my gun or his'

Marion County prosecutors will decide if any charges will be filed against a pizza deliveryman who killed an armed man during an apparent robbery attempt Monday night on the city's Far Eastside.

"I'm just satisfied it was him and not me," said Ronald B. Honeycutt, 38, of Carmel this morning.

Honeycutt said he pulled his gun and fired off all 15 rounds when, as he was about to get into his van, he turned and saw a man coming toward him.

"He said, "Hey, my guy," and as he said "Hey, my guy," he's lifting his arm up with his gun in his hand."

Honeycutt said he pulled his own 9 mm pistol and fired off all 15 rounds at the other man at close range.

The other man, Jerome Brown, 20, 9500 block of East 39th Place, was taken to Methodist Hospital where he died a short time later.

Marion County Sheriff Capt. Phil Burton said there were no witnesses to the shooting, which occurred about 11 p.m. in the 3600 block of Long Wharf Drive.

Burton said he did not know how many times Brown was shot but it was multiple times.

Burton said the investigators would present their findings to the Marion County Prosecutor's office.

Honeycutt said detectives had told him that "something could come out of it" because of the number of times he had shot Brown.

Honeycutt said he emptied his gun in less than 10 seconds and kept firing because he couldn't tell whether the bullets were striking Brown, who was three to five feet away. "He never ran. He never cried. He never moved. It was like I was missing him altogether."

Honeycutt said that after Brown fell, with his gun arm outstretched, Brown said, "I just wanted a pizza."

But Honeycutt said he didn't believe him, "because that's not what he wanted," he said.

The deliveryman said he later learned that Brown's gun never fired because there wasn't a round in the chamber. However, he did hear Brown's gun click two times, he said.

Honeycutt, who said he was laid off about a year ago from a transportation job with The Indianapolis Star, said he has been delivering pizza for 20 years. "I've always had a gun," he said. "I like delivering pizzas. It's a fair job, but I don't plan on dying for it. I know so many people that really got mangled up."

Honeycutt, who was delivering for the Pizza Hut store at 8932 E. 38th Street, said he had already made a $50 delivery Monday night where bystanders had badgered him. "I expected to get robbed," he said.

Then he drove to the Long Wharf Drive apartment. He said he noticed two men coming towards him as he was approaching the building but he doesn't know if either of them were Brown or associated with him.

After making his delivery, he turned around -- "to check my back one more time" -- and saw a man walking briskly toward him. He had reached his van and opened the door when he saw Brown raise his arm, he said. "Once he leveled that gun at me, it was my gun or his."

Honeycutt said he picked up Brown's gun after the shooting, because he feared Brown had an accomplice, and drove back to the store, just a couple of minutes away, where detectives later met him.

Honeycutt said he was fired from his job because he had violated the store policy against carrying a gun, which he was licensed to carry.

"It's my life. I choose which policy to follow."

A Pizza Hut spokeswoman, Patty Sullivan, confirmed that the ban on carrying weapons is a company policy.

Honeycutt said he had never had to fire his gun in self-defense before, although he had pointed at some would-be robbers once before.

"I'm a pretty down to earth kind of person. With everything that's transpired since 911, killing these days almost seems a necessity if it means your life or theirs."
 

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Doctor_Venkman said:
where did you find this story? Links please. :)
+1


and ya i agree pizza hut has a right to forbid employees from carrying while on the clock..

but i also disagree with them firing him, there needs to be a law passed to forbid any liability in cases like this so if the pizza guy had been faulted in the shooting it should'nt come back on the employer.

this is one of the reasons why a lot of companies do not carry at work or even in your car because they're afraid of lawsuits.
 

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Robby said:
Yeah, this old chestnut has been rehashed several times.
Ok I apologize, this is a new one! But, we are not gonna change Pizza Hut policy. If they have not made a change in the last 4 years, nothing is going to change that policy.
 

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I tell you what, if I worked for Pizza Hut as a delivery person, I would have a gun on me. I value my life more than following some stupid rules.
 

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Here is the related story that informed me of this item:
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,344608,00.html

The paragraph of most concern to me, and I imagine many of you, is the quote from the Pizza Hut Spokesweasel:
"We have policy against carrying weapons," Vonnie Walbert, vice president of human resources at Pizza Hut's corporate offices in Dallas told the paper for a March 28 story. "We prohibit employees from carrying guns because we believe that that is the safest for everybody."

Oh really? Well, I think it's safest for everybody if I don't get my pizza from Pizza Hut anymore. It's not like there's a shortage of pizza joints in my neighborhood.
 

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Why does Pizza Hut want safety to be a prime consideration for robbers and thieves (or worse)?

Dave85 said:
Here is the related story that informed me of this item:
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,344608,00.html

The paragraph of most concern to me, and I imagine many of you, is the quote from the Pizza Hut Spokesweasel:
"We have policy against carrying weapons," Vonnie Walbert, vice president of human resources at Pizza Hut's corporate offices in Dallas told the paper for a March 28 story. "We prohibit employees from carrying guns because we believe that that is the safest for everybody."

Oh really? Well, I think it's safest for everybody if I don't get my pizza from Pizza Hut anymore. It's not like there's a shortage of pizza joints in my neighborhood.
 

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Dave85 said:
Oh really? Well, I think it's safest for everybody if I don't get my pizza from Pizza Hut anymore. It's not like there's a shortage of pizza joints in my neighborhood.
I'm done with them too. What a bunch of bulls^$t.
 

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Robby was correct, in that we may not change Pizza Hut's policy.
But guess what, I have never up to this point in time, patronized or even
eaten Pizza Hut's pizza. And, I never will!!! :mad:

They can take their pizza, and shove it where the sun never shines,
nor sets!
 

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Too many choices out there for my pizza dollar, Pizza hut is OUT.
 

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I work at a Pizza Hut in WV and when you are hired you sign papers that you can't have Firearms at work, so this justifies thier dicision to fire spiers. But the strange thing is that OSHA is generally in favor of firearms in the workplace or at least in what i was reading on the NRA's web site.

I don't support the policy at all, its silly not to be able to defend oneself, even so i think that the man will be better off not working for the company, its not a very good one anyway. where i work most of the equipment is older than i am, and they are cheap about fixing it.
 

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locknload said:
Robby was correct, in that we may not change Pizza Hut's policy.
But guess what, I have never up to this point in time, patronized or even
eaten Pizza Hut's pizza. And, I never will!!! :mad:

They can take their pizza, and shove it where the sun never shines,
nor sets!
locknload---being from NY I'm sure you wouldn't be fond of Pizza Hut's products anyhow. It's on the same level as Domino's and Papa John's--garbage.
 

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You know, thats not really fair NYPD - thats like asking an italian what his favorite italian restaurant is, or a Mexican what his favorite Mexican restaurant is here in Texas - they just look at you funny and tell you "that's not real Mexican food". You're from the pizza palace of our country, you're used to some REAL good pies......

back to topic, people need to work. Simple as that. If you have made the decision that you are going to put yourself in the position to defend yourself WHEN (not if) someone tries to rob or kill you, then signing the paper is "just a thing". You do so, knowing that if it ever came down to defending yourself, you'll be looking for another job.

I imagine it would be similar if you were working for a large corporation and you decided to pack a gun in your briefcase. Nobody would ever know you had one, but then one day somebody at work goes whacko and starts shooting people. You instinctively pull out your weapon and end what could have been a much worse ordeal......but now, it's very likely you will be looking at the classifieds because almost every corporation has a policy or rule that firearms are verboten - no exceptions. That would be a very bittersweet moment in your life - you've saved your own life, plus countless others, but you'll be out the door and in the unemployment line trying to find another job that pays half of what you were making. As they say, you rolls the dice and you takes your chances.
 

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NYPD in AZ said:
locknload---being from NY I'm sure you wouldn't be fond of Pizza Hut's products anyhow. It's on the same level as Domino's and Papa John's--garbage.
Gee I always forget that you guys from NY, or Chicago, think NO ONE knows how to make Pizza, unless it is made in your city!! :rolleyes:
If I was a driver for any pizza co. I would carry to the limit of the law, not company policy. If I worked at a Stop and Rob, same thing. Heck, as a contractor I go into area's to evaluate roof damage that are not always the best place to be. I will be carrying just as soon as the state sends out my CCDW to the Sheriff's office.
Right now I keep the gun in the glove box, per the state law when I am out on roofing work.
 

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Texas finally extended the Castle law - I now carry my Mil Pro in the seat next to me - loaded, safety on - but I do keep it inside my fanny pack, unzipped....no sense in giving a soccer mom in a mini-van a heart attack.....
 
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