Former Prison Guard Defends Other Job

By Bill Shields, WBZ-TV

BARNSTABLE (CBS) — The Barnstable House of Correction can be a tough place to work. Just ask Richard Bonavita. In 2005, Bonavita was a supervisor, when a brawl broke out. He ran from his office to the trouble.

“I’m not going to sit there and watch my guards run into harm’s way. I’m not like that.”

But for his efforts, Bonavita was injured, and has had six surgeries on his neck and shoulder, but still has nerve damage in one arm and his hand.

WBZ-TV’s Bill Shields reports.

So how does he end up in a Hollywood movie?

“I was an extra, there was no danger.”

The movie is called “Furry Vengence,” and when computer-generated animals go berserk, Bonavita is seen running, then jumping into a carnival stand.

“It was only two feet high, and I jumped into foam rubber. It was like jumping into your bed.”

But it still has raised some eyebrows because Bonavita is out on disability and being paid $67,000 a year.

On Friday, the Deputy Commissioner of the Public Employee Retirement Administration Commission said, “He’s complied with our requirements. The question is can he perform his duties in the prison? We don’t think so. It would endanger other personnel if there’s a problem,” said Frank Valeri.

Bonavita says, “I’m not pumping iron. I’m not stealing. So where’s the story?”

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