A Suffolk County police crossing guard has been suspended without pay after he was arrested Wednesday and charged with inappropriately touching a teenage girl earlier this month, officials said.
Philip Bonaventura, of Lindenhurst, a Suffolk crossing guard assigned to Allegheny Avenue Elementary School, met the girl when she was walking to the school to pick up a younger sibling, police said. Bonaventura, 78, walked with the girl, 15, to a building near the corner of East Hoffman Avenue and South Delaware Avenue and forcibly touched her, police said.
Bonaventura has been charged with forcible touching and endangering the welfare of a child. He was released Wednesday and is scheduled to appear in First District Court in Central Islip on Friday.
Bonaventura, a crossing guard with the department for 12 years, will not be paid while suspended, police said.
In a letter to parents posted on the school website, Lindenhurst Superintendent Dan Giordano, said the crossing guard "has been removed from our district, as the safety, security and well-being of our students is the district’s top priority."
The letter also says Suffolk police have requested "anyone with information about this case or knowledge of any other potential victims" to get in touch with authorities.