HERNANDO COUNTY - A Hernando man has been charged with felony battery after allegedly attacking a school crossing guard, according to the sheriff's office.
Crossing guard Sonny Isabelle was helping several Spring Hill Elementary students and parents cross the roadway on Mariner Boulevard at the crosswalk.
As he worked, he noticed a silver van traveling in the direction of the children and pedestrians, going above the posted speed of 15 miles per hour.
Isabelle sprang into action and got the driver of the van, 42-year-old Timothy Ruth, to stop.
After stopping, Ruth got out of his vehicle and started yelling and making threats to Isabelle.
As he yelled expletives, he ran over to Isabelle and struck him, then fled from the scene.
Several witnesses helped the crossing guard and provided statements to the deputies help identify the suspect.
Officials made contact with Ruth at his residence.
He was placed under arrest and charged with Felony Battery on a Person 65 Years or Older. His bond was set at $5,000.
"School Crossing Guards must be at their posts, regardless of the weather, and have the awesome responsibility of keeping our youngest citizens safe every day as they walk to and from school," Sheriff Al Nienhuis said.
"School Crossing Guards truly have a zero-fail mission. It is beyond me how someone can actually confront one of these dedicated individuals. This conduct cannot and will not be tolerated in our community."