PITTSBURGH - John Jay “Sarge” Resetar, the Franklin Regional High School security guard who helped stop a knife attack by a student in April and was let go just before classes began this month, took steps on Friday to try to win back his job.
An attorney for Resetar, 70, of North Irwin filed documents with state and federal agencies that often are viewed as precursors to an age discrimination lawsuit against a former employer. Resetar was employed by Capital Asset Protection of Robinson.
“We've instituted legal proceedings through these filings with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission,” said attorney Timothy P. Dawson. “The ultimate goal is to have Jay back at Franklin Regional.”
Daniel Aloe, president and owner of Capital Asset, declined to comment about specifics of the case.
“At some point, both sides will air their positions,” he said.
Resetar said that since the start of classes on Monday, a number of students and parents have contacted him to offer their support.
“A lot of people have called me, they've called my family,” Resetar said. “The support I've gotten from people has been phenomenal.”
Some have posted their support on social media.
“Walking into the cafeteria today and not seeing a smile from Sarge was just awful,” one student tweeted on the first day of school. “I am ashamed of our school #bringsargeback.”
Franklin Regional officials have said they will not comment about the actions of the company, which provides security services to a number of area districts.
Resetar helped to subdue sophomore Alex Hribal on April 9 when police said he used two knives to stab and slash fellow students in a school hallway. Authorities accused Hribal, 16, of bringing the eight-inch knives to the high school and wounding 20 students and Resetar, who was stabbed in the stomach.
Resetar said he loved the job he held for seven years with Capital Asset and two years with Victory Security before that.
“There wasn't any time that I did not want to go to work,” he said. “I enjoyed working with the teachers and the kids ... the guards had gotten involved in the life of the school.”
Resetar had recovered from his wounds and was expecting to return to work when he was notified in an Aug. 4 letter from Capital Asset not to do so.
The company said that upon meeting with Franklin Regional High School representatives to plan for the school year it was concluded that “it is best for the school and Capital to relieve you of your duties at the school, and we regret that your employment with Capital Asset Protection is therefore ending effective immediately.”
Dawson said age was the lone factor in Resetar's firing.
“He's fit, he's a good 70,” Dawson said. “Of the four guards at Franklin Regional, he was the only one let go. ... All of them younger, all retained. A younger guard was hired.”
The company gave no reason for firing Resetar, Dawson said.
“There was no misconduct, no disability,” he said.
This article was written by Channel 11’s news exchange partners at TribLIVE.