LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — A gas station employee is out of a job Thursday for refusing to hand over cash during an attempted robbery Wednesday morning.
The incident happened just after 5 a.m. at the Circle K gas station at Ferry Street and Earl Avenue in Lafayette.
Mike Mowery worked at Circle K for almost four years.
“Working in that line of work, you see that, and it just gets a little bit old,” Mowery said. “People come in with guns and knives.”
That’s what happened while Mowery was working behind the counter early Wednesday morning.
“Give me your money! And he hit me in the chest a couple times and shook the knife about two feet from my face,” Mowery explained. “And that’s when it became personal for me.”
It wasn’t the first time the Lafayette gas station has been robbed. Mowery says, this time, he felt like he needed to fight back.
“My life was on the line, and I wasn’t about to give it away,” he said.
Mowery said the man pushed him, so he pushed back, fearing for his life.
The two fought outside, and that’s when Mowery called police. The next day, he said he got the news about his job.
“I took my daughter to school and stopped by the store,” he said. “And the manager informed me they had orders from the corporate office that I be fired for not giving him what he wanted.”
Deborah Nelson, a frequent customer of the gas station, said she feels for Mowery.
“I think they should applaud him,” Nelson said. “The man could have lost his life, so why fire him for doing his job and doing it correctly?”
But Nelson says she thinks he could have handled the situation a little better.
“I would have gave them what they wanted,” she said.
He says he’s not mad at the company for firing him, but he will miss his job.
“I felt like I had been stabbed in the back for defending my life,” Mowery said.
Lafayette police said a K-9 was used to track the man after the robbery, but police did not find him.
WLFI in West Lafayette reached out to the Circle K corporate office to get a comment on the robbery and the firing of Mowery but has not heard back.