CHICAGO (CBS) — A worker at the Shedd Aquarium says he was fired, for trying to do the right thing: breaking up a fight between two women at the dolphin show exhibit.
George Justak loved just about every part of his job at the Shedd, especially the people.
“I enjoyed the interaction with the guests, especially the little kids. It was great to interact with them,” he said.
After five years of promoting daily tours, he was recently fired.
Before one of the dolphin shows last month, a dispute over seating erupted between guests.
“Immediately the girl who got bumped turned around smacked the lady in the face and knocked her down and broke her glasses,” Justak said.
He said he was standing a few feet from the fight, so he intervened in an attempt, he says, to stop the tussle.
“I didn’t want to see anyone get hurt,” he said.
“The girl who did the punching actually had the lady by the hair so I grabbed her hand and said enough. That’s it and I kept her hand from pulling any more of the lady and eventually separated them.”
Chicago police arrested the woman for battery.
The show went on, but when Justak returned for his next day of work, the termination process started.
Justak says he believes his dismissal stemmed over his decision to step in and physically break up the fight.
“I feel down and depressed … this situation for dismissal is not right. I enjoyed my five years there, and I would hope to continue another five
The Shedd won’t comment on personnel matters, but an official said that security managers are assigned to handle safety issues.