A California bar bouncer says he was fired after calling 911 for a woman who had just been assaulted.
Joe Navarrete used to work every other weekend at Slick's, a bar in Norco, California. While he was working May 9, a woman covered in blood and barely able to talk, approached him from the street.
"She was trying to but she was just so hysterical... All I understood was that she fought off a rape, and right away, my first instinct was to call 911 for her," Navarrete told KABC-TV.
Navarrete said the 911 operator instructed him to stay with the woman. He told the Riverside Press-Enterprise that he and other security officers working that night took turns monitoring the 20-something woman until an ambulance arrived.
“I told Joe I’m on his side,” Enrique Rosales, the head bouncer on duty that night, said.
The woman was taken to a nearby hospital and treated for non-life-threatening injuries.
Police said 21-year-old James Allen Schneider physically assaulted the woman, taking her purse and cellphone. Schneider allegedly threatened to sexually assault the woman just before she managed to escape to Slick's, about a half-mile from where the incident took place.
Navarrete said bar owner Simon Fangary later told him that he shouldn't have called for help because it wasn't the bar's responsibility and that the woman should have called 911 herself.
"I was shocked. I couldn't believe that he was stating that to me," Navarrete told KABC-TV.
A little more than a week later, Fangary called Navarrete and told him he was fired.
"Right away, I asked him why, because I called 911?" Navarrete said.
Fangary isn't saying why he fired Navarrete, citing legal reasons, but denied that Navarette was fired for calling 911.
"Over the last 20 years numerous employees called 911 from Slick's and no one was ever fired," Fangray said.
But Naverette said there's "no other reason" other than that he helped a woman who had just been assaulted.
The former bouncer isn't the only one who thinks that's the reason. Others have expressed their anger and disapproval on the bar's Facebook page.
Navarrete said that even if the owner calls to offers him his job back he wouldn't take it and that if he had to go back and do it all over again he'd do the same thing.
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