Posted at: 11/19/2012 5:54 PM
Updated at: 11/19/2012 6:14 PM
By: Berkeley Brean
The man arrested for spitting at a Salvation Army bell ringer is a former teacher at Pittsford schools. Bruce Littlejohn is charged with harassment, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
Littlejohn taught P.E. at Pittsford Sutherland High School and Barker Road Elementary. The district says he retired in 2011.
The victim told sheriff's deputies that Littlejohn grabbed the kettle full of money, cornered her when she confronted him and then spit towards her face.
The Salvation Army says the bell ringer handled the situation just like they trained her to do. We know her name but she asked for her privacy.
So today we talked to one of her fellow volunteers who told us people heard what happened to the victim and now they're reaching deeper into their pocket.
Shelly Guster is in her usual spot, outside JCPenney's at the Mall at Greece Ridge. A veteran of the red kettle, Guster says she sees more people giving more money today after to what happened to a bell ringer over the weekend.
"For the people listening to what happened now they're giving more to the kettle," Guster said. "They heard about the situation and now I'm seeing a lot more people putting money into the kettle."
It happened outside the doors of Sears at Eastview Mall.
The court papers from the Victor Town Court includes a statement from the victim and she described what happened to her.
She said she saw the man staggering and "could tell he's been drinking." She said the man came up to her and "shook the pot." She asked "him to leave the pot alone" and that's when she said he got close to her and "spit on my jacket."
The bell ringer says the man blocked her from getting away, but she eventually made it into the mall and called for help.
Littlejohn is charged with harassment, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
"We don't see this very often so it was a bit of a shock when it happened," Jim Brennan said. Brennan trains the bell ringers for the Salvation Army.
"We're very concerned about the bell ringer of course but the Salvation Army is concerned about everybody so we're also concerned about him and his family too," he said.
Shelly Guster says it was just one bad moment, not a trend.
"He was going through his moment and I liked the way she handled it," Guster said.
Littlejohn is due back in Victor Town Court on November 29. The most serious charge is the resisting charge. That's a misdemeanor. The others are violations.