For 16 years 74-year-old Mary Moreno says she was a well-liked employee of Circle-K.
"I went on and beyond what they expected of me," she said speaking the offices of the Rathod Mohamedbhi Law Firm.
She says all of that changed when new management took over. She says they treated her badly and often scheduled her to work alone at the store without breaks. It's a decision she says puts her in danger.
On Oct. 4, 2020, she was working a night shift at a store located at 9489 Sheridan Blvd. in Westminster. Around 7 p.m., a man came in holding what she described as two hunting knives.
"I was shaking so bad that I couldn't hold myself still," said Moreno. "I was just wanting to get him out of there."
She said the man asked for cigarettes, but soon it became clear he didn't plan on paying for them.
"He kept insisting 'you have to give them to me.' He said 'you have to give them to me,'" said Moreno.
She refused. The man then went behind the counter. Moreno says she reacted instinctively.
"I pushed his arm, you know? And when I pushed his arm, he took off," she said.
According to a lawsuit filed on her behalf by the Rathod Mohamedbhi Law Firm, police arrested Tyler Darren Wimmer for the incident. He was charged with aggravated robbery and menacing with a deadly weapon and pleaded guilty to the menacing with a deadly weapon charge.
Despite his arrest, Moreno says soon it became clear to her the ordeal was far from over. She had a meeting with her manager and despite what she said was video evidence and eyewitness accounts she said he didn't believe her story.
"He took me in the office, and he said, well, I don't see a knife, because he watched the video, I guess. And I said, 'well there was a knife,'" Moreno said.
He even insisted she apologizes for her actions. Moreno says she refused, and she was fired. Now she's suing the store. She says it's about principle.
"I'm not doing it for money. I'm doing it because of the way they treat their employees," she said.
CBS News Colorado did reach out to Circle-K for comment but has not heard back.
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