Special Needs Transportation

Aide Accused of Restraining Special-Needs Student by Wrists

Posted on June 28, 2019

LONDONDERRY, N.H. — A school bus monitor here was arrested on Tuesday for allegedly restraining a student in a wheelchair by the wrists, New Hampshire Union Leader reports.

Londonderry Police Department Capt. Patrick Cheetham told the newspaper that Peter Pizzuto turned himself in on June 14 after being issued an arrest warrant for allegedly unlawfully restraining a student in a wheelchair on his bus on May 16 and 17. Cheetham added that Pizzuto restrained the student’s wrists with a seat belt and by other means, and that school employees saw marks on the student’s arms. The employees notified parents and the state’s Division for Children, Youth and Families on May 17. The agency then notified police, and then the Londonderry Police Department began an investigation into the incident.  

Cheetham also told New Hampshire Union Leader that under state law, Pizzuto would typically be permitted to restrain a child under certain circumstances, but police charged him because of the alleged use of a physical device. Pizzuto, Cheetham added, has worked as a bus monitor for about 20 years and has been employed by Durham School Services for more than 10 years. The company is cooperating with law enforcement, Cheetham told the newspaper.

Pizzuto has been charged with four counts of simple assault and one count of false imprisonment, according to Londonderry Police Department arrest records.

Related Topics: aide/monitor, legal issues, New Hampshire, wheelchairs

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