A former Oklahoma hospital security guard who lost his job after video of him confronting a belligerent woman went viral is speaking out about his termination, saying that he is "heartbroken" over losing his job.
What are the details?
The incident took place about six months ago at a Hillcrest-area hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma, when an unnamed woman began screaming at another woman in an emergency room waiting room.
Video captured the moment Martinez approached the woman and demanded that she "stay away from other people."
The woman then walked over to another chair in the waiting area. Martinez followed, and warned her to "stay in the f***ing chair or get the f*** out."
"Do that again, I'll kick you out myself," he added.
The video gained momentum earlier this month after it appeared on TikTok.
The video has been viewed more than 17 million times at the time of this reporting.
Content warning: rough language
Damn the ER be wildin in Tulsa. #fyp
Martinez told KOKI that he had worked at the hospital for nearly six years before his unceremonious firing and stands by his response to the woman in the clip, whom he reportedly asked several times to be respectful to staff and fellow patients.
"She started getting confrontational with patients in the lobby," he explained, "saying some rude stuff and being very mean."
Of the firing, Martinez said, "I was heartbroken. I would have been there six years in January."
TikTok user Grant Kinsey, a witness to the melee who shared the video, published a video update of his own, corroborating Martinez's description of the woman's behavior.
In the video, Kinsey said, "All of a sudden, I'm sitting there on my phone and this woman just comes back — I think she went out to have a smoke, the woman in the pink — and she walks by the girl sitting down, and then turns around — the girl didn't say anything. She was talking to, I think, the girl next to her. ... And then the girl in pink just starts getting up in her face over nothing. Literally nothing. And just yelling, and screaming. It was just so intense for no reason. The girl sitting down was being really calm. She obviously didn't know her. She obviously, like, knew this lady was, like, tripping or something. I think I maybe saw the receptionist called security, or security had been walking by. ... I don't know what the whole scenario was.
"That was a crazy day," Kinsey added.
'Loved by many'
Former co-worker Maria Hayes set up a GoFundMe page to benefit Martinez — who she said is "caring, compassionate," and is "loved by many" — and his family.
"He has protected both patients and staff from being assaulted, stabbed, and shot," Hayes wrote.
At the time of this reporting, the page has received more than $8,400 in donations.
Of the support he is receiving from former co-workers and strangers on the internet alike, Martinez said, "It's awesome. It's crazy how when people get together, the things they can do. It's awesome and unbelievable."
"I'm experiencing something new, and something that I've never experienced before," he added. "It's crazy how it got my job taken away from me, but at the same time, the support, that's something that I've never experience before. I used to think that with my 10 or 20 likes on Facebook, I was popular. This is a whole new level of being so loved and cared for. The support is unbelievable."
disclainer: at the end I said “and that’s Tulsa for the most part” I love Tulsa and there’s so many great things, but this happens a lot! #fyp