Caught on Video

Subway worker successfully fights off armed robber — manager responds by suspending her without pay

An Illinois Subway employee who defended herself while being robbed at gunpoint has been suspended from her job by the store’s manager, TMZ reports.

Araceli Sotelo was working last weekend when a man entered the store and brandished a gun and demanded she hand over any cash she had. Security video shows Sotelo struggling with the man behind the counter, repeatedly telling him to leave the store. At one point, she grabs hold of the man and pulls him out in front of the counter, where she begins striking him. The man’s gun then falls to the floor where Sotelo was able to retrieve it and strike him with it. During the struggle, Sotelo also managed to rip the man’s sweater off his body.

As TMZ points out, somehow the video got leaked to the local Rockford Scanner, which then shared the video to social media.

Speaking to TMZ, Sotelo said the store’s manager contacted her after the incident and told her that she would be suspended without pay until the video is completely scrubbed from the internet — a feat that she says is impossible to do. While Sotelo denies being the one who originally leaked the video to the Rockford Scanner, she did post of clip of it to her own TikTok account.

“Still, the idea that she’s being punished for protecting herself (and the store by extension) is being seen as BS by many,” TMZ’s report states. “She’s out of a phone (which got broken in the fight), and everything in her purse, including credit cards and her ID.”

As of this writing, a GoFundMe set up by Sotelo’s mother for legal expenses and lost wages has surpassed $10,000.

Watch the video below:

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