More teens accuse Broward school employee of sex abuse

A 13-year-old boy told detectives Robert Grant, a Broward County Public Schools’ employee, drove him to school to play basketball Aug. 4.

Grant, a 27-year-old Coral Springs Middle School custodian, also spent time with children after school to help with sports teams. Linda Lazon, the mother of a student at Coral Springs Middle School, said Grant was someone who the children trusted. 

Coral Springs Police Department Detectives believe Grant violated that trust. The teen told them that while they were stretching Grant started to cross boundaries. The boy said he first adjusted his boxers and put his hand up the open leg to touch his genitalia saying that it would help his leg get better. 

Grant has been in jail since October for lewd and lascivious molestation of a child and sexual battery of a minor. The charges have piled up and he was denied bond. When he appeared in court Wednesday, he was facing 13 counts of the same charge. 

A 15-year-old boy told police officers Grant drove him to the school to help him with his math homework. When they were finished, they went to the gym and Grant told the teen it was time to stretch. The boy said Grant ended up performing oral sex on him and he “froze” in fear. 

Grant won some hearts while he worked at the school. Rianna Sirjue, a former student of Coral Springs Middle School, said Grant was her football coach. She said she was sad to hear about the accusations.

“It’s hard to believe because he was such a  nice guy,” Sirjue said.

Marybeth Molina agreed. Her daughter said Grant was one of her favorite custodians. 

“He would come into the classroom to talk to the kids a lot,” Molina said. “He was pretty popular.”

Detectives were asking anyone with information about any other cases of abuse to call Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-8477. 

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Coral Springs Middle School custodian accused of molesting teenage boy

A custodian at Coral Springs Middle School was arrested Tuesday on allegations that he sexually battered a former student whom he mentored, authorities said.

Police said the 15-year-old boy and his mother went to the Coral Springs Police Department on Monday and told detectives about the incident, which they said happened on Saturday at the middle school.

According to an arrest report, Robert Grant, 27, who mentored the teen, although the victim no longer attended the middle school, drove the victim to the middle school on Saturday to help the teen with his algebra homework.

The teen told detectives that Grant, who had keys to enter the school, led him to the school gym after they finished his homework and Grant instructed him to lay on the floor so he could stretch, although the teen didn’t ask to be stretched.

Police said Grant stood over the teen, stretching his hamstring, before pulling down the victim’s shorts and underwear and performing oral sex on him.

The victim told police that he “froze” and was scared to say anything because he didn’t know what Grant would do next or whether Grant would kidnap him.

Detectives said the victim also disclosed that Grant would check on a prior injury he sustained in the groin area over the summer multiple times.

The teen said Grant placed his hands inside his pants on at least 10 occasions, groping his testicles for a few seconds each time.

According to the arrest report, surveillance video from the school at 10300 Wiles Road confirms that Grant was alone with the victim at the school between 6:21 p.m. and 9:24 p.m. on Saturday.

Authorities said that besides being a custodian, Grant is also an assistant coach at the school for various sports for boys and girls.

Police said Grant was arrested Tuesday at the school on multiple counts of lewd and lascivious molestation on a minor and sexual battery of a minor.

Detectives said Grant admitted to being alone with the teen at the school over the weekend, but denied all sexual allegations.

Police said Grant admitted to helping the teen stretch, although the victim didn’t ask to be stretched and said that the teen also played basketball by himself.

Broward County Public School District officials said Grant has worked at the school since 2010 and has since been reassigned to work away from students. 

Grant appeared in court Wednesday, where he was ordered held without bond.

 

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Woman struck, pinned underneath SUV outside J.P. Taravella High School

A woman was struck by and pinned underneath an SUV Wednesday morning outside J.P. Taravella High School in Coral Springs, according to the Coral Springs Fire Department.

Sky 10 flew above the scene as the doors to the SUV were open and orange traffic cones marked the location of the victim’s shoes.

Firefighters arrived and had to lift the SUV to free the victim.

The woman was flown to Broward Health Medical Center in serious condition.

Police are investigating.

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Man molests teen boy in library bathroom, police say

A 25-year-old Starbucks barista was arrested Tuesday after he molested a teen boy he’d met on Grindr, Coral Springs police said.

Robert Gittle met the victim in March through the dating app, police said. At the time, the victim was 14 and claimed to be 18. 

Gittle, who was on bond out of New Jersey for manufacturing, distribution and possession of child pornography, began texting the victim, police said. They eventually met at the upstairs men’s restroom in a library near the teen’s school. 

It was in the bathroom that police said Gittle and the victim performed oral sex on each other, police said. 

The teen told police about the incident and gave his phone to them in order for forensic analysis to be conducted.

An undercover officer sent a text to Gittle on July 18 to re-establish communication, police said. That officer reminded Gittle of the boy’s age.

“Robert Gittle acknowledged that the child was a minor and continued the text exchange,” an arrest report said.

It was in those text messages that Gittle showed an eagerness to meet the teen and alluded to a sexual encounter, but “did not provide any details of his intentions,” police said.

“Gittle informed the child not to discuss sex in the text message because it could get him in trouble,” police said.

Gittle met with an undercover officer Tuesday inside a library in Coral Springs, where he was arrested on charges that include lewd and lascivious battery and for traveling to solicit a minor for purposes of engaging in unlawful sexual conduct.

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