NORFOLK -- A replacement crossing guard will be watching over children at a school crossing after the usual guard was charged with being drunk in public.
According to Norfolk Police spokesman Officer Chris Amos, 71-year-old Nestor Ortiz-Rivera had left his post on Chesapeake Blvd. around 11:30 a.m. Monday and was on his home when an officer saw him lying on the ground by the road.
Amos says the officer stopped, believing Ortiz-Rivera may have been in need of first aid but determined he was intoxicated.
Ortiz-Rivera was arrested and taken to to the City Jail on a charge of being drunk in public.
Amos adds police never observed Rivera performing his job under the influence.
Ortiz-Rivera is well known and liked by parents. They say he's great with kids and always concerned about their safety.
Kejo Hood says if it wasn't for him, she wouldn't let her son walk to Norview Elementary School.
"He would tell the kids come down here where I can protect you and he would always talk with everyone who lived in the neighborhood," she says.
However, Hood says in the past, she has see Ortiz-Rivera walking around the neighborhood and he appeared to be intoxicated.
"It was after hours, after work," she said. "I completely trusted him with my children during the daytime."
13News Now went by Ortiz-Rivera's home. He did not want to talk about what happened.
Ortiz-Rivera has been relieved of duties pending an internal investigation, Amos said. Crossing guards are civilian workers in the police department.