Safeway Worker Stops Man From Beating Pregnant Woman, Gets Suspended

Ryan Young Safeway pregnant womanUpdated on 5/24: See latest news here.

You would think Safeway would hold up Ryan Young as a model employee, even award him a medal of bravery and honor. But instead, the supermarket chain has suspended the meat clerk after he broke up a fight in which a male customer at a Northern California store was pummeling his pregnant girlfriend.

Safeway's decision, meanwhile, has turned Young into something of a folk hero. There are protests in front of the market in Del Ray Oaks, a petition on change.org with more than 175,000 signatures, and regular mentions on Twitter and Facebook, all calling for Young's reinstatement.

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According to news accounts, Young was working the meat counter in Del Ray Oaks when he saw a male customer beating up a pregnant woman and tried to get the man to calm down. But Quyen Van Tran reportedly refused to stop pounding on his girlfriend, who was five months pregnant. So Young got between them and pushed Tran off, according to TV station KION in nearby Salinas.

"I just became afraid for her safety and also other customers," he said. "The guy was out of control."

Del Ray Oaks police arrived, and Tran was arrested and has since plead no contest to a misdemeanor battery charge. (He was sentenced to three years probation.)

And while Young says that he was assured by a manager that his job was safe, he was notified the following day that he was being suspended without pay, effective April 22, according to the San Jose Mercury News. He was also not given an end date for the suspension.

The Safeway supermarket chain, North America's second largest, could not be reached for a comment by AOL Jobs. But in speaking to KTVU News, a spokeswoman for Safeway praised Young. "We agree that Mr. Young is to be commended for choosing to intervene," she said, adding Young wasn't suspended for coming to the women's aid. Safeway said it is investigating the incident because of acts it saw on video footage. It didn't specify what those acts were, although the Mercury News quoted a witness as saying that Young struck Tran. The union that represents Safeway workers said it is working to resolve Young's case.

Meanwhile, Young is not receiving a salary and is unable to provide for himself and his own pregnant wife.

The public and local police have rallied to Young's side. Ron Langford, the chief of the Del Ray Oaks police squad, even wrote an open letter in defense of Young, according to KION News.

"Mr. Young's actions were courageous. We commend him for his action that prevented further injury to the victim, protected others and led to the arrest of the suspect in this case," he said in the letter.

Young also has become thing of a folk hero. Safeway's corporate Facebook page was inundated with messages calling for Young's reinstatement. His case also struck a nerve with locals, who have begun picketing the Safeway market in Del Ray Oaks.

"Ryan is a hero," Jennie Tezak of Monterey, Calif., who attended the rally told the Monterey Herald, according to KTVU news. "Domestic violence is uncalled for, deplorable. What Ryan did was heroic. Is Safeway really safe? Not without Ryan Young."



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Dan Fastenberg

Dan Fastenberg

Associate Editor

Dan Fastenberg was most recently a reporter with TIME Magazine. Previously, he was a writer for the Thomson Reuters news service's Latin America desk. He was also a reporter and associate editor for the Buenos Aires Herald while living in South America.

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William J

My understanding is that in this situation and thousands of other similar situations the company fires the employees for violating company policy. This is done because the company is afraid of getting sued. In this case lets assume the hero somehow broke the bad guys jaw so badly that the bad guy had to eat throught a straw for six months and will never be able to chew meat again.(Which would have been fine with me) Kicker comes when the hero gets sued by the bad guy. Unfortunately the hero has no money to go after. So the bad guy goes after the store, where the deep pockets are. Thus the store fires the hero to deter future heroes.
Maybe we need a law to protect heroes, and the stores in such situations. Don't know why the Good Samaritan Act wouldn't already do this but it sems it doesn't. Much as I hate to saw it, because we are already suffocating under new laws, maybe we need a new law!

April 24 2013 at 1:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
airborn333

Most probably saved the unborn's life and kept the idiot boyfriend from a murder charge. Remember years ago in New York City when locals saw a similar scene, except the victim died, and no-one lent a hand or even called the police? It was a national outrage. The worker was right to do what he did.

April 24 2013 at 10:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
schwinnsnstuff

not the SAFEWAY to shop at all!!! they should be ashamed of themselves

April 24 2013 at 10:03 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Heidi Ann

Well, I'm not going to shop at Safeway. What a bunch of jerks!

April 24 2013 at 9:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Heidi Ann's comment
William J

Right now, because of Safeway's action, one man is not making any money. If everyone follows your lead then thousands of people will lose their job. ??

April 24 2013 at 1:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
hankbask

SafeWay-- NOT SAFE. What a Misogynistic mentality the management has there. The guy was a meat cutter- he should have come at that Chinque with a meat cleaver!

April 24 2013 at 9:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
abeybuck

Another example of corporate ******** out of touch with reality.

April 24 2013 at 8:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Trind

"He was suspended for something else:" Yeah, What? The liars. I hope he doesn't return to Safeway. Hope he is offered a better job and takes it. He's too good to work there. I would donate some money to help him. Does he have some kind donation site?

April 24 2013 at 2:58 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ragman

This is another reason n,ot to shop at Safeway, the poor woman could have lost her baby due to the beating this animal was giving to her, What would have been safeway's reaction then. Fire all employee's because they didn't get involved and stop this beating. I'm sure there are other grocery chains that would hire this good citizen. So what if the video shows Ryan took a punch at the idiot, the guy should be happy some MMA fighter wasn't shopping at that time because they would still be trying to pull the guy off this idiots ass.

April 24 2013 at 2:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bill

I don't shop at Safeway ANYMORE!!!!!

April 24 2013 at 1:20 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Biff Chifson

Safeway sucks and always has! I drove trucks in the 80's in the Bay area and had Safeway Richmond as 1 of my places I had to go to. Nobody wanted to ever go there and I soon found out why!
My appointment was for 130pm and I arrived early around 12 Noon to be sure I was ok.
I see 10 trucks parked out front of the gates waiting to be let on the property, hum, I wondered what time they had for appointments, so I go ask the 1st guy in line and he says 12 Noon, and I say oh thats not so bad when I saw the trucks out front I was worried, and the guy says 12 Noon yesterday!!!!!
WTF???? My truck had no sleeper I was only paid 3.5 hours to unload regardless of time, be it 1 hour or 30!
and if I returned the load to Sacramento to the Campbells soup or Proctor and Gamble factory's I was fired!
So while hookers and crackheads try to sell me dope, smoke weed with me, sell me sex and try to open my trailerI waited for 14 hours and I got in the lot!

THANK GOD I think, I go park and ask where to back in and see no spaces are open ,
I am told to stage by a bunch of trucks sitting there!! Once you finally do get a gate the unions employee only takes away 1-2 pallets per hour, but thats ok since they ordered the crap on the floor of the trailer non palletized and offered to slip load it off with a machine as they loaded it for $75 under the table of course, this in addition to the union scale pay he got!

It was ridiculous! Mountainside transport in Sacramento was a Safeway warehouse 1 mile from the Proctor And Gamble factory and they ordered Tide floor loads and Comet floor loads and offered me $75 to have them do it or me do it taking hours! Finally some trucker torched the paper section and the warehouse burned to the ground forever gone!

April 24 2013 at 12:19 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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