Subway Employee Says She Was Suspended After Being Filmed Heroically Fighting Back Against Armed Robber

by Courtney Blackann
(Photo by Budrul Chukrut/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

A brave employee of Subway found herself in a situation no one wants to be in. She was working alone – and a gunman entered the store attempting to rob it. Instead of complying with his demands, however, she made the decision to fight back. Now the decision may cost the woman her job.

Araceli Sotelo found herself the victim of an attack after a man threatened to “hurt her” if she didn’t give him all the money in the cash register in a Subway in Rockford, Illinois. After telling him repeatedly she didn’t have any cash in the register, he pulled a gun on her and threatened that she better listen and comply or else he would hurt her. Then he grabbed Sotelo’s purse.

Instead of letting the man walk away with it, Sotelo lunged for the man, according to the Daily Mail.

‘He kind of just showed me his gun, and I was like freaking out like, ‘Woah you can’t do that please leave,” Sotelo said. ‘[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.”

A struggle ensued between the two and Sotelo was able to finagle the man out of his sweatshirt, mask, and gun. She said she sized him up and knew she could take him on.

Sotelo Struggles with Robber Inside Subway Restaurant

‘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,’ Sotelo said.

After pushing into him and grabbing his weapon away, she began screaming for the man to show his face because he was on camera.

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 his clothes,’ Sotelo said. 

Instead of giving his gun back, however, Sotelo took the weapon and hit him over the head.

‘I just hit him on the head with it, that is what he was doing to me,” Sotelo said.

Instead of being regaled as a hero, Sotelo was met with a suspension from the company. It’s a decision she absolutely disagrees with.

Following the incident, video footage was leaked. Sotelo posted the footage to her TikTok account, which the owner claims got her in trouble.

Subway Employee Faces Suspension

In a screenshot of messages between Sotelo and the store owner, Sotelo says she didn’t leak the footage. However, the owner responds by saying she’s unable to return to work until all the videos come down.

‘They did not want anyone to know, they wanted to be private that it happened to me and that I fought back, but I think they did that because they do not want corporate to know,’ Sotelo said.

Sotelo now says the store owner is completely ignoring her since the exchange. She captured the messages in a screenshot, which she also posted.

The woman remains suspended from the Subway location.

While Subway is generally considered a smart fast food option and is open almost every holiday, we hope the people at corporate recognize this young lady’s courage in the face of a dangerous situation.