An Arby's Restaurant in Dayton, Ohio, has fired its assistant general manager after she had to jump through the store's drive-through window to escape a knife-wielding robber. What's Arby's beef? Archer, the company says, violated a company rule.
According to the Dayton Daily News, assistant manager Mary Archer had been closing up the store when the incident occurred. In an exclusive interview with ABC affiliate WHIO-TV of Dayton, Archer said her last co-worker had just left for the night when she heard the doorbell ring.
Thinking it was her co-worker returning to pick up something she'd forgotten, Archer unlocked the door, only to find herself confronted by a robber with a knife who repeatedly shouted, "Give me the money."
"I really thought I was going to die," Archer, 56, told WHIO. She did her best to defend herself, she says, pushing the man away while she told herself, "I'm not going to die at Arby's tonight. I'm just not."
She was able to evade the attacker and jump through the drive-through window. Her cries for help then brought the police.
Archer, who says she has worked for Arby's for 23 years, says she was flabbergasted to find the next day, when she returned to work, that she'd been fired. "I just never thought that would happen to me, since my life was at stake," she told her television interviewer.
"I don't want my job back," she says. "I just want everybody to know what kind of company this is. They said I was not supposed to have been alone in the store."
That, indeed, is Arby's position. In answer to a request for comment from ABC News, a spokesperson for Arby's Restaurant Group says in an email:
"We consider the safety and security of our guests and employees to be of utmost importance. We're extremely thankful that no one was injured during this incident. While this did not occur in a company-owned restaurant, we understand from our franchisee that the employee was terminated for her second violation of an important safety and security policy; namely, being alone in a restaurant afterhours."
Arby's rule says at least two employees are to be on duty at any time. Efforts by ABC News to contact Archer were not successful.
Archer said in her television interview that this was the third time thieves had attempted to rob the store. After their first attempt, she says, precautions should have been taken, but they were not.
"We have no alarms, no cameras. That should have been nipped in the bud the very first attempt." The only bright spot, she says, is, "My life was spared."
The suspect in the robbery at Arby's is still at large.