Of course when the victim told bosses at Noble Drilling they fired him for “sleeping on the job.” OH Lord! This gentleman was working on a rig off the coast of Louisiana, and takes a nap. He wakes up with a noose around his neck and three white workers standing over him. They say it was a “prank.” Very funny, huh? It was during his break. God forbid workers take a nap during one of those. Now he’s suing them.
For three years, Robert Minter worked offshore, sending money back to his family in Virginia. But his good-paying job ended in 2003 after he said three of his white co-workers put a noose around his neck while he fell asleep during a break.
“It scared the hell out of me,” Minter recalled.
Working miles off the Louisiana coast, Minter said he awoke and thought he was about to be hung.
“One of the gentlemen had placed the noose around my neck. It went up over a pipe, about 14 feet high in the air. My other crew member was standing up on an I-beam with the other end in his hand, yanking on it.”
Minter said his co-workers called it a prank. But it was no joke to him. However, he said when he told his bosses what happened, they fired the other men and Minter as well.
Minter is now suing the company, Noble Drilling of Houston. His attorney said he thinks Noble wanted no part of the problem.
“I don’t think Mr. Minter should have been fired under the circumstances,” said attorney Scott Bickford. “I think Noble wanted to clean out the mess and take care of it, all at once.”
Noble Drilling didn’t return calls from Eyewitness News for comment.
Minter now runs a catering company in Virginia and he said he has never returned to the rigs.
“I dedicated my time and life to them, and I felt they didn’t do the right thing.“
Bickford said that because the incident occurred offshore, it is outside of the FBI’s jurisdiction to pursue a possible hate crime. Meanwhile, Minter’s suit against Noble is scheduled to go to court in March.