WICHITA, Kansas (KSNW) – After a west Wichita Dollar store was robbed Friday night, one of the clerks working there at the time says she’s being punished for failing to stop the suspect.
Police say a man, armed with an unidentified weapon and disguised with a clown mask, walked into the Dollar General store in the 1200 block of W. Douglas just before closing time and demanded cash. Dollar General employee, Celia Reyes, complied.
“It all happened so fast that, you know, we just did what we were told to do,” said Celia Reyes. “So that way, we could get out of there alive.”
As if being the victim of an aggravated robbery wasn’t enough, Reyes says Dollar General suspended her without pay because she reportedly didn’t do enough to foil the robbery.
“There was a point in time when he had his back turned to me, and that I possibly, could have, done something to stop him,” said Reyes.
“We both work very hard to have everything that we do have, and to take care of our kids,” said Reyes. “So, when an income that you’re used to is taken out of your home it does affect a lot.”
For Reyes, a mother of four, it could have been a life or death situation.
“If someone tells me to open the safe because they’re going to hurt me, I’m going to punch that code in and I’m going to open that safe,” she said.
KSN asked law enforcement officials about what they recommend people do in the event they are presented with a possible aggravated robber.
Col. Danny Bardezbain with the Sedgwick Co. Sheriff’s Office told KSN News that it depends on the individual.
“Should I comply or should I not? If you make that decision not to, are you prepared for the consequences of that decision? Are you prepared to defend yourself, if necessary?,” Undersheriff Bardezbain asked.
KSN News was unable to make contact with Dollar General representatives on Monday at both the local and corporate levels.