Teacher Loses Job After Wrongful Arrest

A longtime Bronx preschool teacher — snared in an NYPD sting operation — lost her job after she literally got left holding the bag.

The trouble for Fermina Pena began in April when her co-worker, Sabina Deleon, met with undercover cops inside a McDonald’s on E. 204th St. in Norwood. Deleon, according to court papers, agreed to buy a “stolen” iPad mini for $100.

Pena, 43, was walking from a supermarket during her lunch break, returning to work at the Monsignor Boyle Little Angels Head Start program. She ran into Deleon, who had just exited the fast-food joint.

Deleon, 41, asked Pena to hold the gadget. Then Pena placed the iPad alongside some potato chips in her plastic grocery bag. The cops pounced on a group of teachers and demanded to see some identification. The women complied and were released.

“It hurt me a lot that a little boy who was waiting for his dad saw me getting arrested,” Pena told the Daily News.

“I didn’t know what she bought was stolen,” added Pena, a mother of two who is married to a retired NYPD sergeant. “I feel the police had me confused with someone or they should have investigated more.”

Pena was charged with possession of stolen property and was suspended without pay from her job of 11 years. She was fired in June — a month before the charges were dismissed.