Suffolk police arrested a school bus driver at his Huntington Station home Tuesday on felony charges of sexually abusing a 6-year-old child and possessing child pornography.
Charles Titone III, 46, was apprehended at about 7:30 a.m. as investigators served a search warrant at his Depot Road residence, police said.
Titone works for Huntington Coach Corp. and drives in the Northport-East Northport Union Free School District, police said.
His alleged victim “is someone previously known to Titone and not a student from his route,” police said in a statement.
Titone faces one count each of first-degree sexual abuse and possessing a sexual performance by a child, authorities said. Titone had child pornography on his phone, police said.
Police said he would be held overnight at the Second Precinct and arraigned Wednesday at First District Court in Central Islip. It was unclear Tuesday night if Titone had a lawyer.
Representatives with Huntington Coach Corp could not be reached for comment Tuesday night.
A letter provided to Newsday and sent to parents Tuesday by Northport-East Northport Union Free School District Superintendent Robert L. Banzer, said Titone would no longer drive the school system’s students.
“We are extremely appalled and troubled by these allegations,” Banzer said in the letter. “The driver in question drove a small bus accompanied by a driver assistant. The routes include Northport High School (Van 5), Northport Middle School (Van 1), East Northport Middle School (Music Van 3) and Pulaski Road Elementary School (Van 1)."
Banzer’s letter also urged parents with information or complaints about the driver to contact Suffolk police.
Titone first came under the scrutiny of Suffolk police following a tip from the New York State Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, police said. From there, officers with Suffolk police’s Computer Crimes Unit, Special Victims Sections, and with the Second Precinct Crime Section investigated, officials said.
The investigation is ongoing, police said.
They urged anyone with information to contact the Computer Crimes Unit at 631-852-6279, or call anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 800-220-TIPS.