School Bus Driver Arrested on Battery Charges

A 71-year-old Sarasota County Schools bus driver is facing charges after he was caught on video touching a 13-year old’s hair and neck without her consent. An investigation into Leonard Villari started back in February, when the student from Venice Middle School reported the incident to a resource officer.

The girl claimed Villari came up to her in the cafeteria at lunch, played with her hair, then went to the teachers lounge. The girl told detectives that as her bus driver, Villari would “consistently make comments to her saying ‘baby girl,’ ‘I know where you live’ and ‘I love you.’”

Villari was arrested on battery charges Tuesday and was released from the Sarasota County Jail Wednesday in lieu of $25,000 bond.

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