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School janitor accused of fondling student

BRADENTON — A local elementary school custodian was arrested for the second time this week after an 8-year-old student told authorities she was inappropriately touched while sitting in the lunch room at school, according to a Bradenton Police Department arrest warrant.

Woodie Sinquefield Jr. bonded out of jail Thursday and was arrested by detectives Friday at his Bradenton residence.

Sinquefield, 57, who is the head custodian at Sea Breeze Elementary School, now faces two counts of lewd and lascivious molestation.

The child’s parents reported the incident to the school Friday morning through a school resource officer, according to the warrant.

Parents told police the girl was touched on more than one occasion when Sinquefield would come up behind her and place one arm on her shoulder, letting his arm hang down in front of her and touch her chest over her clothes, the warrant said.

“The victim stated that the act made her feel uncomfortable and that she would cross her arms over her chest after (Sinquefield) left,” according to the warrant.

Detectives also spoke with a teacher at the school who stated when he went to the cafeteria to pick up his class he would sometimes notice Sinquefield with a girl sitting on his lap playing a “tickling game,” poking the girl in the rib area, the warrant said. Police said children would have to be located and interviewed.

Sinquefield, who has worked in the school district for 17 years and at Sea Breeze for three years, was placed on paid administrative leave from the Manatee County School District on April 7 when district officials were made aware of the investigation.

“We’re just very sad and very concerned for the families of the children,” Sea Breeze Elementary School Principal Jackie West said Friday. “Our first priority is to keep children safe and we’re concerned if that hasn’t happened.”

The girl in the latest case and other potential victims have not been interviewed by investigators, according to officials.

Sinquefield was arrested Wednesday by Sarasota Police after he allegedly groped an 11-year-old girl, who is a distant family member, during a family trip to G. WIZ science museum in Sarasota in December.

Bradenton Police are also investigating another case where a 12-year-old girl who is also a distant relative of Sinquefield, told authorities she was inappropriately touched when she was staying at his residence Jan. 22, according to authorities. In that case, a charge has been forwarded to the State Attorney’s Office for review.

Bradenton Police Chief William Tokajer said authorities have a heightened sense of concern now that a child from a school is a victim.

“We’re going to be doing further investigation,” he said. “There’s possibly more victims.”

“This looks like a case of death by a thousand paper cuts,” said Mark Lipinski, a criminal defense attorney representing Sinquefield. “What they are trying to do is make these weak cases seem stronger so he can’t bond out.”

Sinquefield goes before a judge this morning.

Anyone with any information can contact Bradenton Detective Alex Ribachuk at 932-9309.