LONGWOOD, Fla. (FOX 35 WOFL) - His name is William Reynolds, but the kids call him Mr. Bill.
He was helping two young girls cross the street next to Sabal Point Elementary School Thursday morning when authorities say a man ran up and took a swing at him, knocking him to the ground.
"I had two girls standing next to me when he came up to me,” Bill Reynolds said. “I was just getting ready to cross them. I saw the punch coming and I blocked some of it."
Fortunately no children were hurt and Seminole County deputies were able to arrest 36-year-old William Anthony Vindigni of Apopka.
"I don't know why somebody would ever do that to somebody,” parent Jennifer Swenson said. “It's just disgusting."
Mr. Bill said nothing was going to keep him from returning to his job as a crossing guard, even after a random attack sent him to the hospital hours earlier.
Parents and children were thrilled to see their favorite crossing guard back at work Thursday afternoon. Many gave hugs and high fives.
"These children are my life right now,” Reynolds said. “They're great kids around here and I would do anything for them."
At 80 years old, Mr. Bill is a Navy veteran who has been a crossing guard for five years.
"He's a good man,” Swenson said.
He said he doesn't plan on hanging up his whistle anytime soon.
"My job is to take these kids across the street,” Reynolds said. “That's what I'm here for and that's what I'm gonna do."
The man charged with the attack is facing felony battery charges. Officials said there is no clear motive.
Mr. Bill said after an incident like this, he will continue to protect the children and educate them about the dangers of strangers.