Hero Plumber Who Saved British Tourist Hit by Cab Lost His Job
MANHATTAN — The plumber who saved the life of British tourist Sian Green after her leg was severed by an out-of-control cab in Midtown lost his job about a month after the crash, he said Tuesday.
David Justino, 44, who tied a tourniquet around the severed limb of the young woman to prevent her from bleeding to death after the August 20 crash, said that Bass Plumbing and Heating of College Point called him Tuesday morning and laid him off because they didn't have enough for him to do.
"They're saying it's due to lack of work," he said Tuesday.
Justino believes his former employers got upset that he got so much publicity from his heroism.
"I got laid off probably because I saved this girl's life," he said. Justino said that he wishes he could have avoided the fanfare that came with his rescue.
"If I could just save this girl and go back to work, I would," he said.
The Daily News first reported the layoff.
There was no answer at the plumbing company.
Justino was taking smoke break when he saw the cab smash into Green, tearing her leg off below he knee, he said.
He sprang into action, taking off his belt and tying off the severed limb to "stop the leak," he told DNAinfo at the time.
"I had to step up to the plate," he said at the time. "I just reacted."
Dr. Mehmet Oz, who saw the crash from his production office window in Rockefeller Center and came down to help, lauded the plumber for his quick thinking.
"I applaud he quick thinking and heroic actions of David and the first responders," the TV doctor tweeted at the time.
The next day Justino tried to visit Green in the hospital, but was turned away because his name was not on her visitors list.
Green, who appeared on Today Tuesday morning, said she wants to reach out to Justino.
"I would like to meet him," she said. "It's really nice that everybody was so caring and not running away."
Donald Doherty, the president the Local 1 plumber's union, said that he had not spoken to Justino, but layoffs are part of working in the construction industry.
"When things slow down, that's a natural part of the business," he said.
Justino said that the pet shop that he runs in Yonkers is struggling.
"I have to make money to feed the animals in my store," he said. "If I don't feed the animals in my store, the die."
I need to get back to work," he said.