The reputation of Dollar General is one of perpetual media attention. This time, a local resident was hit by an employee’s vehicle, drawing attention to the business.
How it happened
In an old video that recently surfaced, a Dollar General employee identified as 35-year-old Jessie Soto can be seen slamming her car into a man riding a bicycle in someone’s driveway and pushing him and his basket of goods to the ground. The video was originally taken by the neighborhood doorbell camera.
The footage opens with the sound of a squealing brake. The sound of the bike colliding with the ground is followed almost immediately by the sound of the man’s basket’s contents tumbling over the suburban-looking driveway, some of which spill.
The woman appears to slap him again as she throws open her car door as the victim tries to gather himself. The clip then showed the two getting into a hasty argument while attempting to gather as many of the items that had fallen to the ground.
The man and woman are also seen in the video shouting at one another. She seems to grab the man’s bike by the basket and toss it to the side, as the man keeps collecting the broken pieces.
According to Soto, she never intended to run him over with her car. I never intended that, she claims. I never would hurt someone. She alleges that the cyclist took the chips, doughnuts, bread, cheese, and boloney that were in the basket from the Dollar General store, where she was employed at the time.
The main reason I pursued him was to stop him from repeating it, she claimed.
Although they were unable to confirm any specifics, Fresno City Police did acknowledge that a ‘call of action’ was made between dispatchers and officers regarding the incident, which took place at the intersection of West Princeton Avenue and North Brawley Avenue in northwestern Fresno.
The owner of the residence on that street with the Ring doorbell camera that captured the video, Eric, claimed he had not heard from the police. “When it happened, I was honestly very shocked. I could not believe I was viewing it live on my Ring camera while I was at work.” He said.
What views did the lawyers have on the entire incident?
A personal injury lawyer from Los Angeles named Christa Ramey recently discussed the legal ramifications of the man’s attack with Sam Goldberg during an episode of Law&Crime’s “After Hours” and is not associated with the case.
Ramey told Law&Crime that the woman “should be fired.” “Firing someone is a darn good idea for this reason.”
The attorney emphasized that driving into a suspected small-time thief or even a proven crook who has taken something much more significant goes much beyond what an employee is permitted or required to do.
Ramey also included “We did see what she did, though. And she knocked him down on purpose. She, therefore, faces some potential criminal culpability and Dollar General could face some potential legal liability.”
The defense against the crime and tort of false imprisonment was then explained by the counsel.
Shopkeepers’ privileges are usually granted to businesses in which they’re permitted to detain someone if they have probable cause to believe that a crime has been committed, just like if a police officer stops you. If they stole something, then. However, purposely running someone over is not something that the shopkeeper’s privilege permits.
What action did Dollar General take against this employee?
As usual, Dollar General chose to keep quiet about this matter as well before subsequently terminating Jessie’s employment. She said that she lost her job as a result of a dramatic video showing her pursuing an alleged shoplifter in her car and striking him as he rode away on a bike.
This wasn’t the first time dollar general had taken an action without a proper public statement. In the past few years, the company has cared a lot about its reputation and as a result, it has silently fired its employees.
Jessie made her choice out of loyalty to her career and annoyance with shoplifters. However, it would have been ethically reprehensible if the man had suffered serious injuries or had perished as a result of the car colliding with his bicycle. There are alternative methods to handle situations like these, and there are laws and courts designed especially for them. Instead of driving your car into this debate, it is preferable to approach it politely. Dollar General ought to have spoken out against this. Whatever justification Jessie offered, human lives are significantly more valuable.