Best Buy employee, fired for tackling burglary suspect, to receive medal from sheriff
Best Buy employee explains tackling suspect, getting fired and then receiving medal
The Placer County Sheriff’s Office will honor a second citizen with a medal next week, recognizing a man who aided deputies in restraining a suspect in the parking lot of a Roseville Best Buy store last month.
Tyler Metildi, a 26-year-old working in asset protection with the store, was outside assisting a customer on Jan. 11 when undercover law enforcement agents began to chase Timothy Trujillo of Reno, a man wanted for multiple burglaries in Nevada and in Placer County, through the parking lot.
Trujillo punched a deputy in the face and began to run away. That’s when Metildi gave chase, tackling the suspect to the ground.
“Deputies say Metildi’s quick thinking prevented Trujillo from potentially escaping law enforcement again,” a narrator says in a video by the Sheriff’s Office posted Friday to announce Metildi’s award.
Metildi will be honored with a “citizen’s medal of merit award” in a ceremony next Monday at Placer County Sheriff’s Office headquarters in Auburn.
Metildi was controversially fired by Best Buy about two weeks after the incident. He was terminated for violating Best Buy’s corporate-level policy that prohibits chasing or physically confronting people.
However, shortly after Metildi’s story became public, Best Buy reversed its decision; the company announced in a news release it would offer him his job back. It is not known whether he accepted the offer; he told The Bee prior to Best Buy’s rehiring offer that he planned to return to a school for security guards in April.
Before Best Buy offered to rehire him, Metildi told The Bee in a phone interview that he knew he was breaking company policy, but did not expect the consequences to be as severe as firing. However, he said he was willing to accept that.
“I figured it was safer to help tackle him there and end it than to have it drawn out in a parking lot,” the 7½-year Army veteran said at the time.
He told The Bee that he thought the policy may not have been applied as strictly since he was chasing a law enforcement suspect rather than a shoplifter at the store, but he said he did not regret his actions.
“Didn’t really have time to think about it,” Metildi says in the Sheriff’s Office video. “It only lasted – from the time that I stepped off the curb to the time that he went down was about 5 seconds.”
The Placer County Deputy Sheriff’s Association said in a Facebook post shortly after the incident became public that Metidi helped a deputy who had been “violently assaulted.” But in general, deputies advised against citizens engaging in law enforcement activity, for safety reasons.
Metildi will join 8-year-old Isabell, a girl who helped save the life of her father, Brian Pierce, when Pierce was shot in the chest while driving on Rock Springs Road in south Placer County.
Pierce was allegedly shot by Stanley Stepanski III, a 48-year-old Montana man who authorities say went on a shooting rampage Jan. 15. Stepanski allegedly, and shot and killed 93-year-old Mary Toste at her front door. Sheriff’s officials say Isabell helped put pressure on her father’s wound with a sweatband after he was shot.
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