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: Philadelphia Police Begin Cracking Down On ATVs, Dirt Bikes Just 2 Days After City Closes Loophole
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: Philadelphia Police Searching For Missing 73-Year-Old Irvin Groce
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: Starr Restaurant Group Canvasses Rittenhouse Square For Employees, Offering Signing Bonus To New Hires
Young said Verizon is making a donation to the Pennsylvania SPCA in Fishtown to show its support for animal rescue efforts.