A 77-year-old veteran was fired from his job working at a Florida tollbooth after his superiors asked him to take reduced shifts when they found out he paid a driver's $5 toll out of his own pocket.
Vladislav "Sam" Samsonov had been collecting tolls at the Gasparilla Island Bridge for nearly 30 years, according to the Huffington Post, and was well-known in the community for having treats on hand for dogs and lollipops for children. However, his service to the community came to an end when he was fired last week after being caught on tape putting money from his pocket into the cash register.
"In my eyes, there was no crime committed—I just helped somebody out," said Samsonov, according to NBC's West Palm Beach affiliate WPTV.
Samsonov stated that he charged a trailer driver too little and, upon learning of his mistake, paid the extra $5 himself. This is an action that he admitted to doing on occasion, if a driver didn't have enough money to pay their fare.
"I'd put the $6 in, I got the $6 back the next day," said Samsonov.
He had been asked not to pay for others before, but was "never formally written up," according to the Canada Journal.
As a punishment for his actions, the Gasparillia Island Bridge Authority gave Samsonov shifts for only two days a week instead of his usual five, which he declined.
"If I can't be trusted for five days, how can I be trusted for two days?" asked Samsonov.
Upon refusing their offer, Samsonov was fired.