Two Starbucks Baristas Fired For Fighting Off Robbers

Two baristas were fired for beating up two men who tried to rob a Missouri Starbucks.

On December 17th, according to St. Louis police, 37-year-old Joshua Noe and 35-year-old Marquise Porter-Doyle entered a Starbucks with what appeared to be handguns and demanded the seven employees and one customer inside to lie on the ground and surrender their valuable belongings.

They also demanded that the employees open the safe and cash register drawer. Michael Harris, one of the employees, was unable to open the register because he did not have the necessary credentials. When he informed Noe that he could not open the register, Noe struck him over the head with his pistol.

According to a probable cause statement, the “handgun” broke upon hitting Harris’ head. Harris and his fellow coworker Devin Jones-Ransom then realized that the gun was fake and began to fight back.

“Harris complied with the robbers’ demands until it was no longer an option for himself and others,” said attorney Ryan Krupp, who represents Harris. Krupp said that after being struck, Harris recognized the urgency of taking action to avoid the possibility of being killed.

They were able to restrain Noe until the police arrived. Porter-Doyle fled the scene but was caught by police shortly after the incident.

The two are now facing more than 20 felony charges for assault, robbery, and attempted robbery.

In a statement, Harris said, “I just wanted to do the right thing as a person and as an employee,”

However, last week, Harris and Jones-Ransom were fired by Starbucks.

“ … I got a call a few weeks later,” Harris told the New York Post. “Once the media died down. They told me they were terminating me. I was surprised. I was distraught. I was confused.”

Krupp said in a statement that “Michael and Devin were swiftly terminated by the company with no clarification on the specific policy breach if any, or guidance on how they could have handled the situation differently.”

He continued by noting that Harris had openly expressed safety concerns, leading Krupp to speculate that this might have been the underlying reason for the termination.

Starbucks responded to the incident with a statement to FOX Business: ​​”We were deeply disturbed to learn of this frightening incident. Partner safety is at the core of how we operate in our stores, and we are so grateful that our partners and customers did not come to greater harm in this situation. In situations like this, our training and protocols guide our partners to comply and de-escalate, not just for their safety but for the safety of all in the store.”