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A local Subway worker in Illinois, US, said she was suspended by her employer after a video showing her fighting off an armed robber went viral on social media.

Araceli Sotelo, a Subway restaurant employee, thwarted a robbery in the fast-food joint on September 5, 2021, local media reported.

Sotelo defended herself when a robber barged into the shop, pointing a gun at her. When he demanded money, Sotelo didn't give in. Instead, she got involved in a physical bout with the robber.

As a scuffle broke out between the two, the unknown assailant dropped his gun and Sotelo quickly retrieved it, Fox News reported. The robber then tried to get his gun back while he held Sotelo's purse in one hand. "He [the robber] dropped it trying to hold onto my purse and I end up pulling his sweatshirt off him and I was like, 'Show your face, show your face, you are on camera,'" Sotelo was quoted as saying by local media.

"He was like, 'Here, you can have your purse back. just give me back my stuff.' He wanted me to give him back his gun and his clothes. I just hit him on the head with it, that is what he was doing to me," Sotelo said.

The video of the incident was leaked on social media and since then, the clip has gone viral.

Sotelo said she did not leak the video online but had shared a clip on her social media account with the caption: "A man came into my job and tried to rob me."

According to the report, over 8.2 million people have watched the video so far. While appreciation poured in for her on the internet for showing bravery, she said she was suspended from her job following the incident.

Sotelo said she received a call saying, "If every one of these videos is not taken offline, you will be suspended."

Sotelo had made it clear several times that she was not the one to leak the video online. Nevertheless, she was suspended.

"Then I texted them: 'How long am I suspended for?' They said 'til everything is removed online. I cannot do that," Sotelo told a local news channel.

"They did not want anyone to know, they wanted to be private that it happened to me and that I fought back, but I think they did that because they do not want corporate to know," she said.

Meanwhile, Sotelo's suspension from the job has not been confirmed by representatives for Subway.

A spokesperson was quoted as saying, "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."
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