Kirkland Baskin-Robbins employee robbed at gunpoint claims he was fired the next day

Baskin-Robbins ice cream - Contributed art
Baskin-Robbins ice cream
— image credit: Contributed art

A Baskin-Robbins employee claims he was terminated after requesting to have an extra employee by his side for night shifts. The request came after the ice cream shop was robbed on Wednesday night.

Kirkland police responded at 7:20 p.m. when employee Jarred Alverio, 19, called 911. A white man with a white bandanna on his face entered the Rose Hill Baskin-Robbins on N.E. 85th St., drew his gun and told Alverio, who was decorating a cake, to give him the money. Police arrived within five minutes after the man, who wore a black hoodie, black leather jacket and blue jeans, left with $200.

Alverio called his manager to get the password for the security camera so that police could obtain the video footage. Within 30 minutes, the manager walked in the door.

“She didn’t seem like she was fully connected, but her husband did ask if I was okay,” Alverio said.

But Alverio recalls the first thing she said to him was: “Oh, you need to put the cake back in the refrigerator.”

“It seemed she was being more considerate of the cake than what was going on,” Alverio said.

Alverio didn’t work Thursday, but knowing that he had to work at 3 p.m. Friday, he called his manager to discuss his work schedule. And in a voicemail he asked to have a coworker with him during his evening/night shifts. He was alone the night of the robbery.

“Since that happened, I am physically and mentally not able to work in that environment. I was by myself,” said Alverio.

When the manager called him back, he says she told him she would be unable to accommodate his request because “it’s wintertime and it’s the slow season for an ice cream shop.” It was non-negotiable to move his shifts to daytime.

“She said ‘thank you for your time, thank you for working with me. Your last day was yesterday and you can come in Monday to get your last paycheck. Bring in your uniform,’” Alverio said, noting that he only requested to have an extra employee with him and it wasn’t a demand. “I was very puzzled… She didn’t care.”

Ironically, Alverio had received his six-month raise last month.

“That’s really sad that a small business can’t accommodate such a small request like that,” said Alverio’s uncle, Pedro Heredia. “This kid is the kind of kid that makes up shifts for other employees. He works as many hours as he can and then they go and shut him down like this.”

Heredia said Alverio commutes an hour-and-a-half to Seattle back and forth, in addition to going to college. Sometimes Alverio gets off work as late as 11 p.m.

But when the Reporter contacted the manager, Jinny Hong, she said that she wants Alverio to work and he is not fired if he will work the night shifts. She says since Alverio is over 18 years old, she hired him specifically to work night shifts.

“I really want to work with him but problem is he doesn’t want to work nighttime shift,” Hong said. “I’m going to do what he wants to do.”

Hong attributes the issue to miscommunication because she is not fluent in English. She says she is troubled by who will fill tomorrow’s night shift.

Sunni Chung, the other manager, called the Reporter to explain Alverio will be taking a few days off work but is still on payroll and was not fired. Alverio has until this Saturday to decide whether he wants to work for Baskin-Robbins or not.

"I definitely didn't misinterpret it," Alverio said. "I would have asked her to say it again."

Alverio says come Saturday he doesn't think he will make the decision to continue employment there.

The same Baskin-Robbins has been robbed before - a couple of years ago, according to Alverio. And Lt. Mike Murray with Kirkland Police has confirmed the suspect in the recent robbery also matches the description of a suspect in his mid-20s who robbed a Texaco gas station down the street on Oct. 27.

“Similar description, close to the same area, same type of motive,” Murray said.

“I don’t think I’d take the job back. If I were to have that job back, I’d have the night shift by myself and knowing that something like that could happen… It’s not safe.”

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