School Bus Driver Re-assigned to other duties pending investigation

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VENICE- 71-year-old Leonard Villari, a school bus driver for Sarasota county schools was arrested and charged with battery.

According to the probable cause affidavit, a 13-year-old girl was at the cafeteria when the suspect approached her a couple of times and played with her and touched her neck.

Another student told him to stop and the school security guard witnessed the contact and brought the student to the front office.

In the report, the student says last year, Villari consistently said to her ‘baby girl’, ‘I know where you live’ and ‘I love you’, when she was riding the bus.

He has worked for the school district since March 7, 2013.

After the criminal case is wrapped up then its due process with the school board.

Villari was released Wednesday on a $25,000 bond and he’s been reassigned to other duties in the Transportation Department with no contact with students.