Beloit community members call Larry Woods' charges "shocking" - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Beloit community members call Larry Woods' charges "shocking"

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BELOIT (WKOW) -- The city of Beloit knows Larry Woods as a retired police officer, a security guard at the Beloit Public Library and for the school district.

More than that, many who knew him, describe him as friendly, polite and helpful, making it difficult to understand the charges against him.

Police arrested Woods on Saturday and on Tuesday he was charged with repeated sexual assault of a child. (Full story here)

Cyle Johnson said that's hard to reconcile with the Woods he knew.  

"He always had a smile on his face," he said. "He seemed like a very positive person."

Johnson first met Woods, when he patrolled his high school and has known him in the years since, seeing him work at the library

According to another frequent library patron, Michael Hernandez, Woods seemed to interact well with kids and adults alike. He said nothing ever seemed off.

"[He was] always you know talking with the kids politely, people would come to him for help for stuff if they ever needed it," he said.

The library declined to comment but according to a spokeswoman with the city, Woods has been working at the library since 2012 and has been placed on leave due to the charges.

She said like all library employees, Woods passed a criminal background check before he was given the job.

As for the community, both Hernandez and Johnson said they want to see how the case turns out before they pass any judgment.

"You can't trust anyone, just because someone works at a library or works at a high school or even a police department," Johnson said.

Despite the outcome, Johnson said, he believes the charges alone, against someone so well-known in Beloit, have left the community hurting.

"I think everyone's a little bit heartbroken right now," he said.

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