ROCKFORD, Ill. — An employee at a Subway restaurant has garnered attention after saying she’s been suspended from employment shortly after a video went viral showing her fending off an armed robbery suspect.
Araceli Sotelo thwarted a robbery attempt from an armed suspect on Sept. 5, 2021, according to leaked security camera footage that was first shared with the public from RockfordScanner.com — a local news outlet that routinely reports on police blotters, Fox News reported.
The video, which is timestamped at around 10:38 a.m., shows the woman from Rockford, Illinois resisting a suspect who entered the fast foot chain and walked directly behind the counter. As the scuffle between the two continued into the public section, the assailant, who has not been identified, dropped his firearm, which provided Sotelo and opportunity to retrieve it.
Prior to the video cutting off, the perpetrator is seen trying to retrieve his handgun while he’s holding the woman’s purse in his hand.
Sotelo shared a copy of the video to her TikTok account yadalove07 on Thursday with the caption: “A man came into my job and tried to rob me.”
The video has gone viral on TikTok with more than 8.2 million views. In response to thousands of comments regarding her bravery, Sotelo said on Friday that she’s been suspended from her job after surviving the violent encounter.
A Subway spokesperson did not confirm whether Sotelo has been suspended when Fox News reached out for comment, but provided the following statement:
We are deeply concerned about the recent incident at a franchised location in Rockford, Illinois. The restaurant owner and management are fully cooperating with the police investigation, and we request patience until that process is complete…Every restaurant is independently owned and operated. We are in contact with the franchisee to better understand the situation and assist as needed.
Sotelo’s mother, Sylvia Oviedo, said the woman’s phone was broken and she was left without her ID and debit card when her purse was stolen, according to a crowdfunding website. Thus far, the family has raised more than $10,600 and they say the money will be used for attorney fees and lost wages.