Police have arrested a school bus driver who they say engaged in “inappropriate touching” of children on his route for an elementary school in South Barrington.
John Petrone, 68, of the 1100 block of Heavens Gate Drive in Lake in the Hills, was charged Thursday with misdemeanor battery, said South Barrington Police Detective Bryant Haniszewski. The alleged incidents involved four different boys over the period of a year on a route serving Barbara Rose Elementary School, he said.
Petrone was suspended in April when the allegations first surfaced, Barrington Unit District 220 spokesman Jeffrey Arnett said.
“He has not driven since the spring,” Arnett said.
Petrone, working for a private bus company contracted by the school district, also drove routes for North Barrington Elementary in North Barrington and Barrington Middle School-Prairie Campus in Barrington. Lake County Sheriff’s police are investigating similar allegations in North Barrington, Arnett said.
Barrington Police Chief Jerry Libit said the department has not received any reports of alleged incidents involving the bus driver in Barrington.
Police would not elaborate on the nature of the alleged touching except to call it “inappropriate.”
Petrone remains an employee of Barrington Transportation Co., the company the school district contracts to provide bus service.
“The suspension will continue, pending the outcome of the current charges,” said Lorraine Pahlke, owner of Barrington Transportation Co.
Pahlke said she was not at liberty to disclose how long Petrone had been a driver for the company. Authorities said he had worked there a number of years.
Petrone declined to comment on the advice of his lawyer.
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