ST. LOUIS, MO— Two Starbucks employees who made headlines in December by shutting down a violent robbery attempt at their store have been fired by the coffee-giant, according to reports. Devin Jones-Ransom and Michael Harris are former employees of the ubiquitous Seattle-based coffee slingers, and the two were not told reasons why their services were no longer required.
Reportedly, Harris has opted to press the matter legally.
Riverfront Times reported that Jones-Ransom and Harris’ express route to the unemployment line began when, according to police, Joshua Noe, 37, and Marquise Porter-Doyle, 35, entered the store on December 17. Both men appeared to be armed with handguns and threatened the seven staff members on duty along with a single customer in the store, ordering everyone to get on the ground and hand over their valuables.
The would-be robbers also demanded the employees open both the cash register and the store safe, but the employees were unable to. According to The Post Millennial, Noe then attempted to strike Harris with his weapon, only for it to break on his head the outlet reported, citing a probable cause statement from police.
When the obviously fake gun broke, the victims realized they were being deceived and engaged the criminals hand-to-hand. In the ensuing altercation, police said that Noe and Porter-Doyle each punched victims in their faces. However, outnumbered more than two-to-one, Noe was quickly subdued by the staff and customer.
Porter-Doyle reportedly fled, only to be captured by police shortly after. Both men are being held without bond.
The Post Millennial reported that Noe has been charged with 11 felony counts, which include three counts of robbery in the first degree, six accounts of first-degree-armed robbery, one count of second-degree assault, and one count of third-degree assault. Porter-Doyle’s charges are identical with the exception of second-degree assault.
Attorney Ryan Krupp said in a statement to the Times
, “Michael and Devin were promptly fired by the company without any explanation as to what, if any policy they violated, or what they should have done differently about the situation. Harris complied with the robbers’ demands until it was no longer an option for himself and others.”
The lawyer observed that Harris’ stated concerns regarding safety at Starbucks may have led to his dismissal. “The safety and wellbeing of our partners (employees) and customers is always our first concern,” a Starbucks spokesman said. Adding in a statement, “All partners are expected to follow our carefully crafted protocols to ensure the safety of customers and partners during these situations.”
The statement did not specify if or how either young man violated Starbucks’ protocols.