NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Parents in New Rochelle were concerned Tuesday evening over an angry resident who yelled at children at a school playground.
As CBS2’s Christine Sloan reported exclusively, some parents said it was not the first time.
Parents at the Daniel Webster Elementary School in New Rochelle sent a message Monday after police said the resident, who lives in an apartment building next to the school playground, yelled obscenities at the children as they played.
“Today at around noon, a man who lives in an apartment in Westminster Court made an inappropriate statement to a group of our second graders,” Daniel Webster Elementary principal Melissa Passarelli told parents in a recorded message.
The school went into lockout and police were called in. One parent was concerned.
“I just heard someone was making random gestures at the children,” said parent Patrick Bienaime.
Police told CBS2’s Sloan over the phone that a couple of second graders heard the man say he had a gun. But police said when they arrived, the man let them into his apartment and they did not find a weapon.
No one has been charged, because police say the man denied the allegations and they cannot corroborate the students’ stories.
But one parent said several years ago, he reported a similar incident involving his daughter on the playground.
“I don’t know if it’s the same guy, but he would stand in the window in his underwear and smoke cigarettes and say inappropriate things to the kids,” said Bill Saunders.
Parents wrote about the man on a private Facebook page.
“He does it all the time to all the classes,” one parent wrote.
“He screams, curses, and tells them to shut up,” another said.
“I think it’s, you know, ridiculous that somebody’s allowed to stay, you know, right next to a school when there’s little kids when he’s threatening them and coming after them,” a father told CBS2’s Sloan. “They should move him away, you know, take him away take him away from the school.”
The principal said the school is taking action.
“Please be assured that Webster School and the City School District of New Rochelle are taking the appropriate measure to keep your children safe each and every day,” Passarelli said in the recording.
One parent said the school handled the situation correctly.
“They brought them in a soon as they could,” said Jennifer Mendoza. “I wasn’t concerned about the safety, because I know they did what they needed to do.”
Police said monitors on the playground did not hear the man threatening students. CBS2’s Sloan spoke to a person who lives in the apartment, who claimed the incident was blown out of proportion.
But police said they continued to investigate late Tuesday and have reached out to the Westchester County District Attorney’s office as well.