Footage of the January 27 scuffle captured by Nine News showed the security guard coming after the suspected thief just outside the Coles Prahran branch off Chapel Street in Victoria. The guard could be seen throwing punches and grabbing the suspect as bystanders looked on, while others tried to intervene.
"Oi! You can't hit him," bystanders could be heard yelling at the guard in the video. "You can't do that. Just leave him alone. Oi." One person was heard shouting, "You're gonna lose your f**king job," while someone else could be heard hurling racial slurs at the guard.
While Coles and the security guard's employer, MA Services Group, have declined to comment on the matter, the guard claims he was fired for the way he handled the incident. A new guard from the same security company has since been employed at the branch, according to the report.
Internet backs security guard
Twitter users appeared to be less than impressed with the way the guard was treated, praising the way he dealt with the situation.
"All I see is a security guard actually doing his job," one of the comments read.
"Fired trying to deal with that crap. He deserves a medal," another commented while a third added: "Not all heroes wear capes... he was doing his job under extreme pressure."
Many social media users also had strong opinions about bystanders and MA Services Group.
"Give the security guard a senior role and an award. We need people like this helping the community," someone commented on Twitter.
"Back in my days at Coles, we would chase known thieves out onto streets if needed. We would tackle them, rough them up, pin them to the ground and wait for police to arrive. Bystanders used to cheer. Now they jeer!" another opined.
"Those druggies were being racist to the poor security guard. Such is the state of our country that vandals, druggies, criminals run free and a hard-working security guard gets fired for doing his job and sustaining racist slurs," commented a third.
Yahoo News understands that a police investigation into the incident is ongoing.
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