After Joe Morici served in Afghanistan as a sergeant in a medivac unit, he returned home to Maryland to work at a CVS store in Beltsville. However, he’s been fired from his management position after confronting robbers who tried to clean out the pharmacy’s safe on Feb. 26.
Police say two people leapt over the pharmacy’s counter and took narcotics from a safe when Morici intervened. "[One of the men] tried to hit me again with the screwdriver,” Morici told WJLA. “I disarmed him of the screwdriver, while having the other guy pinned against the one door.”
The suspects got away, but with only a few of the pills. However, Morici was fired later that day because CVS has a policy against interfering with robberies. "I did seven years in the military; a year overseas and that instinctive behavior is not something you can just turn a switch, and it doesn't happen anymore. I didn't act in the way CVS wanted, but I acted in the way that was right and I still stand by that," he said.
CVS declined to give specifics on the incident. "In the unfortunate event of a robbery at one of our stores, the safety and well-being of our customers and employees is always our highest priority,” a spokesperson said in a statement. “We do not comment on specific security policies as we do not want to undermine them. And due to our employment privacy policies, we are unable to comment on Mr. Morici.”
Morici isn’t sure what’s next for him and he says he’s considering re-enlisting, but he isn’t the first veteran to be fired for intervening in a robbery after rejoining the civilian world. In 2012, Air Force veteran Devin McLean was fired from an AutoZone in York County, Virginia, for drawing his weapon to stop a robbery, Fox News reported.