GM Should Commend Employee Who Stopped A Murder, Not Fire Him

| by Nik Bonopartis
Didarul SarderDidarul Sarder

General Motors should give Didarul Sarder a party and a raise, not a pink slip.

Sarder, a 32-year-old valet supervisor at the General Motors Technical Center in Warren, Michigan, was at work on the morning of Feb. 10 when he heard a woman screaming.

Sarder ran to the source of the screaming, just outside the large office building's lobby, where he found a 32-year-old woman stabbing 52-year-old GM employee Stephanie Kerr with a knife, the Daily Mail reports.

The assault was brutal -- Kerr suffered stab wounds to her neck, abdomen and back -- and would have continued if Sarder hadn't pulled out his handgun and held the assailant at gunpoint until police arrived.

Kerr was rushed to the hospital, where she was still clinging to life on Feb. 11.

Sarder's co-workers hailed him as a hero, and authorities said Kerr likely would have died if Sarder didn't intervene.

But instead of a commendation or even a pat on the back for saving the life of one of its employees and stopping a potential murder on its office steps, GM allegedly fired Sarder. He went from "hero" to "unemployed man" in the span of a few minutes, prompting outrage from locals and people on social media.

Sarder told WJBK that a GM employee fired him on the spot before escorting him off the property.

"He said: 'You shouldn't have had a firearm here. After this is done, he needs to be escorted off the property. He's not welcome back here.' I was really bummed out. I got a little emotional," Sarder said.

On Feb. 11, GM denied having fired Sarder, but didn't guarantee his job either. The company said Sarder is employed by a third party, and fobbed off local media by saying it could not talk about the particulars of the incident.

"Because this is an ongoing investigation we cannot comment," GM's statement reads, according to WJBK. "However, we can say GM has not requested the valet be dismissed.To our knowledge the valet remains an employee of the vendor."

If GM executives are smart, they'll make it clear they're keeping Sarder on the job, and they'll recognize him for the hero he is.

"Had it not been for his quick action and quick thinking, pulling out his concealed weapon, [Kerr] might have been murdered on site," Warren Mayor Jim Fouts told WJBK.

Every criminologist-in-training learns the story of Kitty Genovese, the 28-year-old woman who was stabbed to death outside her apartment in Queens in 1964. The New Yorker reported that more than 30 neighbors in the apartment complex heard Genovese scream for help, yet did nothing.

At the murderer's criminal trial, prosecutors said the number of witnesses was more like a dozen people, but that doesn't make the story any less chilling.

The fact is, not getting involved is the easy thing to do. There are plenty of ways people can justify a decision not to intervene, and Kerr could have ended up like Genovese.

Instead, Kerr has a fighting chance at life, and it's because of Sarder.

GM should let the Michigan man keep his job, not only because it's better for the company's image, but also because it's the right thing to do. If Sarder loses his job because he saved a life, the next time someone hears a victim screaming for help, they might not be so quick to get involved.

Click here for the opposing view on this topic.

Sources: The Washington Post, WJBK, New Yorker / Photo credit: WJBK via Daily Mail

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