STEPHEN REX BROWN nydailynews.com
MARCUS SANTOS/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
David Justino was hailed as a hero after he helped save the life of British tourist Sian Green after an August taxi crash severed her foot.The plumber who saved a British tourist's life says he was fired days after the heroic act for attracting too much media attention. David Justino, 44, used his plumber's belt as a tourniquet after an out-of-control cab severed Sian Green's foot on Sixth Ave. last month. Justino was hailed as a hero - but now says he's struggling to pay the bills after being laid off from his job as foreman of an under-construction Duane Reade in the Rockefeller Center subway station. He said his bosses on the job, Bass Plumbing and Heating Corp., gave him no reason for the stunning move. But he said he knows why. "I lost my job for saving this girl!" said an outraged Justino. "All that commotion, my boss had enough of it and decided it would be better to fire me ... I think I would have been better off doing heroin than being a hero." Sian Green was just released from the hospital and said on the ‘Today’ show that her life has ‘changed completely’ since the accident severed her foot and resulted in part of her leg being amputated. But management at Bass Plumbing said Justino isn’t employed for an all-too-familiar reason: lack of work. “Although we were very proud to have him working here, (Justino) was one of three union plumbers laid off due to lack of actual jobs the company is in the process of performing,” said a company representative. The rep added that Justino’s last day was Sept. 13. TV’s Dr. Oz was also in the area and worked with hero plumber David Justino to save Sian Green’s life. He conceded that there may have been some “personality” issues between Justino and the supervisor who gave the plumber the news work had dried up. “As far as personalities, our superintendent may not have worded it properly,” said the representative. “In no way did the attention or time spent with the media cause any problem for the company.” Sian Green was on a dream vacation to New York when the accident occurred on Aug. 20 near 6th Ave. and W. 49th St. Justino said repeatedly he was happy to have saved Green's life, but was torn about its consequences. "I got a mortgage to pay!" Justino said. "I should have kept on walking like everybody else. I'd be putting in pipe instead of worrying about paying my bills." For now, Justino said he's struggling to get by, running an aquarium shop in Yonkers, Aquarium Critters Warehouse — a gig he'd always hoped to do on the side. "Everything is upside down. I should be on a job, running men, making good money," he said. "Right now I'm in the pet shop trying to figure out how to make money." The moment of the fateful crash, he had no choice but to act, he said. "She was going to die right there in the bushes," he said. "Everyone was pulling out cellphones, videotaping instead of helping," he added with disgust. "I wasn't going to let that cab take her life. God's biggest gift is life … I wouldn't let this thing happen. Not on my watch." to read more click here: nydailynews.com
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