Elderly school volunteer recovering after driver's car-line outburst
NEW PORT RICHEY (FOX 13) - Ed Denamen has seen a lot in his 33 years as a law enforcement officer. Now retired, the 79-year-old never thought one of his closest calls would be as a volunteer in the Calusa Elementary School pick-up line.
"The guy was parked over in the bus loop. I just asked him to move," Denamen said Wednesday.
Denamen says the man behind the wheel of a Cadillac CTS, 34-year-old Lawrence Franklin, copped an attitude and whipped around to cut to the front of the line. Denamen told Franklin that wouldn't do either, and directed him to loop out and around the lot to the back of the line like everyone else.
"Then he blew the horn for three to five minutes at me. And I laughed. Then I went to walk away and he hit me. Drove right into me," Denamen recalled of the Monday afternoon incident.
He hopped to regain his balance, but before he could, he says Franklin hit him again.
"I fell on the hood and caught myself," he said.
Parents, a bus driver, and fellow volunteer Bruce Woodbridge called on a nearby deputy to help.
"It was a shock. We've got some people who grumble, but they'll listen. Or they'll try to sneak in if they can or they wave and park where they're supposed to. This is the first time we've had an incident like this, period," Woodbridge said.
Franklin was cuffed and hauled off in front of the crowded parade of parents. Denamen is OK aside for some cuts to his leg. For now, he says he'll continue schooling parents as a volunteer.
"The kids are learning to go by the rules; why can't the parents?" Denamen asked.
Franklin is facing charges of aggravated battery with a vehicle on a person over 65 years old.