Hospital security guard “heartbroken” after being fired over viral video confrontation
An Oklahoma hospital security guard has been fired from his job after a video of him confronting a woman in an ER waiting room went viral. Jose “Tony” Martinez told Fox23 he has been left “heartbroken” after he was let go from his role at a Hillcrest hospital in Tulsa over the negative publicity generated by the clip. The video first came to light earlier this month after being posted to TikTok by Grant Kinsey.
In the clip, a woman in a pink T-shirt can be seen shouting in the face of another woman sitting in a chair in the hospital waiting room. Martinez approaches her at pace and loudly orders the woman in pink to “stay away from other people.” She sits down in a nearby chair, with Martinez following close behind.
He then proceeds to lean over her and order her to “stay in the f***ing chair or get the f*** out.” Martinez then warns the woman “Do that again, I’ll kick you out myself,” before moving away. Kinsey posted a clip of the incident alongside a caption that reads: “Damn the ER in Tulsa be wildin.'” At the time of writing, the video has been viewed more than 71 million times on TikTok, with many commenting to praise Martinez’s response.
Vinson said we need “more discipline like this,” while Conni commented “great job officer.” Amber Jay, meanwhile, said “thank you” to Martinez for protecting the other woman in the clip. The video can be viewed here.
A father-of-three who had worked at the hospital for nearly six years, Martinez told Fox23 the incident actually occurred six months ago, yet only recently garnered widespread attention as a result of the viral clip. He told the news provider that despite his firing he stands by what he did, claiming the video represented the culmination of a series of incidents with the woman, who he says was being verbally abusive to others.
“She started getting confrontational with patients in the lobby; saying some rude stuff and being very mean,” he said. The claims certainly tally with the version of events Kinsey presented in a follow-up to his viral TikTok post, in which he said the woman in pink became aggressive with another person in the waiting room “for no reason.” His version of what unfolded can be viewed here.
Despite facing an uncertain future as a result of his firing, Martinez has found support online after one of his former co-workers, Maria Hayes, set up a GoFundMe page to help him financially.
Writing on the page, Hayes described Martinez as someone who is “loved by many.” “He is caring, compassionate, and takes great pride in his duty to protect and serve the patients and staff,” she said. “He has protected both patients and staff from being assaulted, stabbed, and shot.” With Martinez currently the sole provider in his family, Hayes urged friends and former colleagues to “come together and give him a love offering.”
Just over £5,000 has been raised so far, with an initial fundraising target of £10,000 set on the page.
A link to the fundraiser has also been shared by Kinsey on TikTok alongside a message urging followers to show “some love and support” to Martinez on GoFundMe. Many of his followers were surprised Martinez had lost his job over the incident. “He got fired for doing his job?” Hilleri wrote. “Is he not supposed to handle unruly people?” Krissy Marie couldn’t believe he got “fired for something that happened six months prior,” while SarahGoodman512 described the decision as “outrageous.”
“They should be promoting him,” she added.
Newsweek has contacted Martinez, Hayes and Kinsey for comment.
Stock photo of an ER entance – a hospital security guard who was fired after angrily confronting a disruptive patient has no regrets about how he handled the situation. MJFelt/Getty