Fast food restaurant Carl’s Jr. is explaining itself this week after it fired an employee two days after she was held up at gunpoint, pistol-whipped and thrown in a store freezer.
According to the company, Cathy Terry was actually due to be fired the day of the robbery. Sources told WFAA-TV Terry had a history of problems, including deleting hours from employee time cards to save on overtime costs.
Terry was the general manager at a Carl’s Jr. in Mesquite, Texas when, shortly after 6 a.m. on Sept. 17, a man entered the restaurant. He shoved one employee into a walk-in cooler before holding Terry at gunpoint and ordering her to open the cash registers and the restaurant’s safe, according to WFAA-TV.
“My first thought was, ‘This is a joke.’ Really, I thought he was kidding,” Terry told the station. “And then I realized he wasn’t.”
Terry said she tried to resist, telling the gunman the safe was on a timer and she couldn’t open it herself, but he held the gun closer to her neck and face and said, “Yes you can.”
“Do you want to die for Carl’s Jr.?” Terry said he asked. That’s when she agreed to open the safe, but before leaving with the money, surveillance footage shows the man shoving Terry into the cooler along with her employee and then striking her in the back of the head with his weapon.
Terry said she was given two days off after the robbery, but when she returned to work learned that she was fired — for what she was told were unrelated reasons.
“It is unfortunate that Cathy Terry was terminated so soon after the September 17th robbery,” franchise owner RWJP Star Enterprises told WFAA in a statement. “In order to protect Ms. Terry’s privacy, the company cannot discuss the reasons for her termination, but they are totally unrelated to the robbery.”
The restaurant said it had offered counseling to Terry and to the other employee who was there at the time.
Mesquite Police Lt. Bill Hedgpeth described the attack as “brazen.” The suspect, described as six-foot-two and about 180 pounds, has not been arrested.