PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Maurice German, the Verizon employee credited for rescuing a cat from atop a utility pole in Port Richmond last weekend, was suspended three weeks by Verizon on Friday. But the company says it takes “no joy” in the punishment.READ MORE: Abington Township Man, Harry Gramlich, Accused Of Neglect In Brother's Death
German was working in the Port Richmond neighborhood last Saturday when a resident asked him to help rescue Momma the cat, who had been stuck on top of the pole for about 12 hours. German obliged and safely returned Momma to its owner.
No one was injured in the rescue, but it put everyone in the vicinity in danger, Verizon said.
“We take no joy in this job action,” Verizon spokesperson Rich Young said. “However, we’re committed and responsible for keeping our employees and customers safe while working in a particular area.”READ MORE: Taste With Tori: 2 Drexel University Grads Offering Fresh Grub In Nontraditional Way At Farina Pasta And Noodle
Verizon says its field technicians are required to participate in safety training exercises focused on keeping both its employees and customers safe. Its vehicles and equipment are not intended to be used in the area German operated, according to Young.
“Unfortunately, while this employee’s goal was admirable, he potentially put his life and those around him in jeopardy,” Young said. “While our actions may not be popular, it’s in the best interest of our employees and the communities we serve.”MORE NEWS: Dianna Brice Murder: Funeral Service Held For Pregnant Woman Found Shot To Death In Southwest Philadelphia
Young said Verizon is making a donation to the Pennsylvania SPCA in Fishtown to show its support for animal rescue efforts.