WEST NEW YORK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A 79-year-old New Jersey crossing guard in the middle of doing his job suffered first-degree burns on his face, after he said an angry woman threw hot coffee at him.
As CBS 2’s Jessica Schneider reported, crossing guard Francisco Garcia was back on the job Tuesday. The burns on his face have healed after the run-in with the angry woman when he was on patrol.
Garcia said the woman pushed him, over his protests – “I said, ‘Easy! Easy! Take it easy!'”
The woman – Charlene Porcuri, 42 – was trying to get past the cones blocking the intersection of Park Avenue and 50th Street in West New York.
When Garcia stopped the car in which she was a passenger, Porcuri got out, and allegedly got violent.
Garcia said she threw coffee right in his face.
“Dunkin’ Donuts,” he said. “Hot. Too hot.”
The woman got away, and Garcia was rushed to the hospital.
But a few days ago, police arrested Procuri at her apartment at Parkview Towers, just steps from the scene of the alleged assault.
Garcia said he has worked as a crossing guard “eight years – never a problem,” until now.
After the incident, Garcia asked to be transferred to another site 10 blocks from where he burned hot coffee. He got back on the job Monday.
“A lot of people have been passing through this area asking where he is,” said fellow crossing guard Carol Durant. “A lot of people in this area knew Francisco and they really miss him.”
But Garcia will not be back at the site where he was allegedly attacked. Durant has now taken over his post.
Meanwhile, the hearty, longtime crossing guard is getting to know his new, safer turf.
“Now I’m OK,” Garcia said. And back at work, he added, “I like the job.”
Garcia plans to keep going as a crossing guard well into his 80s.
Porcuri was with assault and possession of a weapon – in this case, the hot coffee.
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