For Sam Swicegood, a college student working as a Pizza Hut delivery man in Maryland, a matter of self defense came with a hefty price tag.
Swicegood told Fox 45 he was demoted from his job after defending himself against five teenage attackers while delivering a pizza. Swicegood reportedly used a tent pole to fight off the attackers, which violated the company's no weapons policy.
"Five people against one is not a good situation to be in. I thought that I was about to die," Swicegood told Fox News Insider.
Swicegood claims that Pizza Hut demoted him to a cook -- cutting his hours and his pay -- as a result of the incident.
A Pizza Hut spokesman denied Swicegood's allegations in an email to The Huffington Post. "He was not demoted, his wages were not lowered and his hours were not cut," wrote Doug Terfehr. "He remains employed with Pizza Hut and the situation is being handled internally with the utmost concern for his well being."
Companies with strict weapons policies are often put in a difficult position when employees are forced to defend themselves on the job. Devin McClean, an AutoZone employee, was fired earlier this year for thwarting a robber at work with his own personal weapon.
Update: This story has been updated with comments from a Pizza Hut spokesman.