Updated 03/05/2013 03:07 PM
Red Cross employee accused of sending explicit texts to teen blood donor
An American Red Cross employee has been fired, accused of sending sexually explicit images to a teenage girl. Police say the man stole her cell number while working a blood drive at her high school. Our Megan Cruz has this story.
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COEYMANS, N.Y. -- "It's very disturbing. I mean, I'd be very upset if it happened to one of my daughters."
A blood drive turned dating service, at least for one American Red Cross employee. Coeymans Police tell us a man working a drive at the Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk High School helped himself to a teenage girl's cell phone number off her blood donor card.
"He was contacting her via text with sexually explicit messages and also photographs of himself, in what we believe was an attempt to set up a relationship with the young lady," said Lt. Kerry Thompson.
That drive was Friday. On Monday, they arrested Reynaldo Higgins, 30.
"This girl stood up for herself, didn't become a victim, took the right measures, contacted our folks at school," said RCS Interim Superintendent Alan McCartney.
Higgins faces harassment and stalking charges. He's since been fired, but authorities fear he may have contacted others in his four months with the Red Cross.
The organization had this to say about the incident: "The Red Cross has employee conduct policies that include zero tolerance for such behavior and based on these policies, the Red Cross has taken disciplinary action."
Spokesperson Maureen Wells wouldn't say if the organization plans to change any of their procedures because of this incident. The Superintendent says the district will continue hosting blood drives with the organization.
McCartney said, “The Red Cross is a great organization. So you've got this glitch, this person who did this. So you really can't, it's like throwing out the baby with the bath water."
Going forward, the superintendent says he'll suggest that students put a parent's number on the donor card. But some parents are now unsure if they'll allow their kids to donate.
“It's hard because you can say alright, well don't give blood, but how many people are going to lose out on that? And how many lives could be lost because of it,” said parent Juanita Rivera.
If you or someone you know may have been contacted by Higgins, you're urged to contact the Coeymans Police Department at (518) 756-2059.