A worker at a Subway restaurant in Illinois says she has been suspended after she defended herself against an armed robber during a recent encounter, according to reports.
Araceli Sotelo said she was scared for her life and took the opportunity to fight back against the robber, with video circulating on the internet showing the attempted robbery unfold at a franchise located at 1120 East State Street in Rockford on Sep. 5.
“He kind of just showed me his gun, and I was like freaking out like, ‘woah, you can’t do that, please leave,'” Sotelo told Fox 8 in an article published Sunday. “[He said] ‘give me all the money’ and I said, ‘I do not have any money, like, I do not have any money.’ That is all I had and he was just like, ‘give me everything before I hurt you.'”
Sotelo said she immediately decided to fight back when the robber grabbed her purse. (RELATED: Robbers Hold Up Group At Gunpoint In Broad Daylight)
“He was smaller than me, so I have that advantage. I’m bigger than him, so I could at least put my weight on him, push him, or something,” she said, according to Fox 8.
Video footage shows the robber approach Sotelo, who was working alone, before appearing to try to grab her purse as a struggle ensues. Eventually, the robber is seen with Sotelo’s purse before she manages to knock his gun and some clothes to the floor.
ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) – A local Subway worker has been suspended after defending herself during an attempted robbery. The incident happened Sunday morning at the restaurant located at 1120 East State Street. Subway employee Araceli Sotelo said she was scared for her life! 👀👂🏾 pic.twitter.com/G8ONnxXaiJ
— Charlie Luster Street Fights (@LusterFights) September 11, 2021
Sotelo is seen grabbing his gun and smacking the robber in the head as he appears to offer her the purse back.
“He dropped [the gun] trying to hold onto my purse, and I end up pulling his sweatshirt off him and I was like, ‘show your face, show your face, you are on camera,’ and he was like, ‘here you can have your purse back just give me back my stuff.’ He wanted me to give him back his gun and clothes,” Sotelo said, according to Fox 8. “I just hit him on the head with it, that is what he was doing to me.”
Sotelo told the outlet that after the incident was posted online she was suspended from her job.
“I get a call yesterday it was like, ‘if every one of these videos are not taken offline you will be suspended,’ and then I texted them and I’m like, ‘how long am I suspended for?’ They said ’till everything is removed online. I have no ability to do that.”
Sotelo claims she was not the one who leaked the video and that the franchise owner has disregarded what she has said.