Teen on job interview stops robbery in progress

Posted at 9:45 AM, Mar 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-24 09:46:10-04

(WDSU, CNN NEWSOURCE) Devin Washington was sitting down for a job interview with two managers at a Popeyes in New Orleans East, when a cashier started screaming.

"Saying, 'we're being robbed,' I guess he reached his hand in the drawer and he was trying to run to the door and one of the managers did this [gestures] and he ran into her, and I just got up," said Washington.

He says the restaurant broke out into chaos. "The only thing I remember is me getting him and putting his hand behind his back. That's all," Washington said. "I wasn't scared or nervous or anything like that. I just got up and did it."

All he saw was a woman in need of help. "I was thinking like it could be my mama. It could be anybody's mama, so you have to protect somebody."

The gentle giant held the robber in an arm-lock until police arrived. "He was like trying to get loose, trying to put up a fight with me, and I was just holding him there."

Washington’s  football coach, Michael Franklin, says he was not surprised to hear what the defensive lineman did, because, a number of times Washington has even jumped in to stop fights at school.

"Most times the fight that he has interceded in, they thought that he was actually the one involved in the fight just because he's so massive, he's so big, he's 6'4"," Franklin said.

At the end of the interview Washington walked away with a job. "Yeah, I got the job at Popeyes," he said.

The thief was arrested and charged with simple robbery.

"Just thinking about it, I could be hurt, shot or anything. I'm happy that nothing bad happened to me," Washington said.

Washington will be working at the restaurant after school.

He says he will use the money to support his three-month old daughter and will also be saving up for a car.

Monday was his first official day on the job.