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Arby’s fires manager with 23 years after she escapes armed robbery

Posted at 8:16 PM, Oct 23, 2012
and last updated 2012-10-23 20:16:57-04

FAIRBORN, OH (WHIO/CNN) — An assistant manager at an Arby’s, who slipped out of a drive-thru window to get away from an armed robber who invaded the store early Friday, has been fired.

Mary Archer learned of her fate less than 24 hours after a man with a knife slipped into the business around 12:45 a.m., at 1130 E. Dayton Yellow Springs Road.

She signed the paperwork her supervisor gave her, which stated that she had broken the corporation’s safety and security policy because she was alone in the fast food business when it was robbed.

Archer, 56, told News Center 7’s Layron Livingston, in an exclusive interview Friday night, that she was closing the business for the day and a co-worker had just left when she heard the doorbell to the business.

Archer said she thought it was the co-worker, who perhaps had forgotten something.

To her horror, it was the robber.

“He held up a knife and kept saying ‘give me the money,’ ” she said.

The man had her cornered in the office, Archer said, but she shoved him out of the way and made her way to the drive-thru window, where she screamed for help. She then climbed through the window.

A customer at a nearby Circle K store heard her, alerted someone in the convenience store, and police were called.

“I had pushed him away…because I’m like, ‘I’m not going to die in Arby’s tonight…I’m just not,’ ” she said.

In the initial hours after the incident, the manager’s daughter told News Center 7 that the robbery was the third at that restaurant in six months.

“She was able to get away, slipped out the drive-thru window and yelled for help,” Archer’s daughter said, referring to Friday’s robbery. She said her mother was the manager on duty each time the store was robbed.

According to the daughter, robbers tried unsuccessfully to take the safe the first time.

Suspects reportedly got away with a safe the second time, she said.

Friday morning, the suspect ran off empty-handed.

Archer told police he was about 5-foot-10, 150 pounds and wore a dark colored hoodie, dark pants and a dark wool stocking cap.

He had not been caught Friday night, according to Fairborn police. The department is asking anyone who might have information about the incident to call them at (937) 754-3000.

As for Archer’s immediate future with the restaurant/fast food eatery?

Arby’s, an affiliate of the Atlanta-based Roark Capital Group, said violations of its safety and security policy mean termination of employment without exception.

The vice president of Arby’s Human Resources contacted WHIO TV and says he he feels bad that Ms. Archer had to go through this, but that she knowingly violated the company’s safety and security policy, and had been warned before.

“I don’t want my job back,” she said, noting that January would mark her 23rd year with Arby’s. For her the silver lining is that her life was spared.