Gavyn Edlinger “won the Internet” – parlance for winning the approval from nearly 1.5 million viewers who saw him in action on YouTube – when he sprayed Febreze in an alleged shoplifter’s face at a Saginaw, MI, Family Dollar Store, WNEM-TV reports.
But he lost his job anyway.
The two-minute confrontation in a parking lot outside the store earlier this month quickly turned ugly, with Edlinger and the two women he suspected of shoplifting shouting at one another before he pointed the can of Febreze aerosol odor eliminator in her car.
At one point, he stomped his feet and declared, “Bitch, what I want you to do is do something. I will whoop yo' ass!"
After he sprayed the Febreze, the woman claimed she had been blinded.
“I can’t see! I can’t see!” she shouted.
Edlinger, 32, had hoped to climb the corporate ladder, but when his bosses saw the video, they gave him the boot.
He told MLive/The Saginaw News he thinks the firing was unfair and he was doing his job after receiving reports that the women were panhandling items they had taken from the store in the parking lot.
Edlinger claimed that he had called 911 to alert the Saginaw Police Department of the suspected crime and went to the parking lot to get the women’s license plate number, as he had been instructed, but the police told WNEM-TV there’s no record he ever called.
Edlinger said he admitted to his manager that he “flipped out a little.”
“I told him I worked six days a week, and 52 hours a week,” he told MLive/The Saginaw News. “I told him I was stressed out. I apologized for my actions.”
Later, he learned he had been fired.