A 64-year-old employee of a Staten Island summer program was arrested Friday after allegedly placing his hands on the face of a 10-year-old epileptic boy at a Staten Island public school, according to police.
The man, Robert Busan, was cuffed at P.S. 861 around 2 p.m. on Friday, police said, after cops received a complaint that Busan had slapped a child’s hand, then put his hands over the boy’s mouth and nose to keep him from crying. According to his guardian, the boy suffers from epilepsy and frequent seizures.
The Daily News reports that Busan was an employee at the NY Center of Interpersonal Development, and worked as the director of a Staten Island summer program. Following the arrest, the New York City Department of Education has barred him from working in city schools.
“These allegations are deeply troubling and this individual is no longer eligible to work in Department of Education schools,” DoE spokesman Michael Aciman told the News.
Other parents, meanwhile, have come to the defense of the counselor. According to an unnamed parent who spoke with the News, Busan is a “great teacher” and was merely rough housing with the boy during a water balloon fight.
“It was more like a tap on the hand than a hit, and he never covered the boy’s mouth or nose whatsoever,” the parent said.
Busman has been charged with acting in a manner that injured a child under 17, according to police.