Transit employee fired after breaking up fight

CREATED Dec. 26, 2013

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 MILWAUKEE -- Bill Bierman believes he lost his longtime job for just doing the right thing.

Bierman spent nearly a decade as a supervisor for the Milwaukee County Transit System.

On October 6th, Bierman was tending to a bus at 2nd Street and National Avenue. He claims he heard a
woman screaming for help.

“She looked straight at me and pleaded, 'Please help me. God, please help me,'" Bierman explained.

"I'm thinking this girl is some big trouble."

Bierman tells TODAY’S TMJ4 he saw the woman struggling with another man. He maintains he tried to call for help on his radio, but it didn't work.

Faced with a decision to do nothing or help, Bierman yelled at the man to stop. He tells me the man charged him, so Bierman grabbed his hands.

"I'm not a cop, I wasn't going to restrain him. Just let him go. Because my concern was with the young lady," he said.

Instead of receiving praise, Bierman was suspended. Weeks later, he was fired.

"They said I basically violated the company's workplace violence policy," Bierman explained.

Local law enforcement officers are furious at the decision. Sheriff David Clarke recently noted Bierman would have broken the law if he didn't help.

In a statement, Clarke wrote, in part:

The employee should be commended for doing precisely what the state law (940.34 Duty to aid victim or report a crime) requires in such situations. He has two choices. He can summon police or come to the aid of the victim. He said his radio did not work, therefore he came to her aid. The law clearly says that anyone who does not comply with this law is subject to criminal prosecution. This transit worker is a hero. He led by example. It is what we want supervisors to do. He disregarded his own safety to protect someone else. There is no greater act of civic responsibility.

MCTS would not provide a comment,

Bierman is considering legal action against MCTS.