18-year-old accused of inappropriately touching child at Belmont Pump It Up

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An 18-year-old has been arrested for inappropriately touching a child at an indoor bounce house center in unincorporated San Mateo County. 

Tavi Benelli is accused of taking a minor child into a private room at the Pump It Up indoor bounce house in Belmont.

That’s where police say Benelli inappropriately touched the victim and took pictures of the minor. 

Benelli has been arrested and booked into the San Mateo County Jail.

The sheriff’s office says they’re in awe of how quickly the child came forward and they want other parents to teach their kids to do the same.

Sanika and Nitan Naar are planning to have their 5-year-old daughter’s birthday party at this pump it up in just a few weeks.

But when they learned about an employee being arrested for touching a child and taking inappropriate photos of her, they felt the need to be proactive.

Pump it Up told KRON4 Benelli is no longer employed with the organization and as a team, they’re focusing on the safety and well being of their customers.

The San Mateo Sheriff’s Office says anytime you’re in a place that caters to children specifically, parents need to be on guard.

Officials say the little girl was with her nanny at the party when she got a scratch.

She told officials Benelli took her to a private room to get a band aid and that’s when he took advantage of her.

The little girl is under 10 years old and police say her quick decision to tell an adult is something all kids should know to do.

“We are really just so appreciative and in awe of the decision making,” said Detective Rosemary Blankswade, with the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office. “In this situation this little girl potentially prevented other victims from being victimized by the suspect”

The Naar family says they’re taking note.

“We’re just starting to teach her about the good and the bad touch. It just means one thing — you can’t leave them out of sight,” Sanika Naar.

There are nine pump it up locations in the Bay Area.

The company wouldn’t agree to speak on camera today about if they plan to change any protocols in the hiring process.

Benelli is being held in jail on a $350,000 bail.

He is facing child molestation and lewd acts charges.

Officials say he also tried to destroy the evidence of photos on his phone during their investigation, landing him child pornography charges as well.

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