Colorado Bus Driver Faces 30 Child Abuse Charges For Slamming On Brakes
In Castle Rock, Colorado, a school bus driver is facing 30 counts of child abuse for abruptly slamming on the brakes as a means to "teach the kids a lesson."
Castle Rock Elementary
The disturbing video, which was acquired by 13 Investigates and recorded from inside the bus, shows numerous students from Castle Rock Elementary School being flung forward, with their faces hitting the seats in front of them.
The incident transpired on March 1, 2023, while the young pupils were on their way back home.
The report states that Brian Fitzgerald, a 61-year-old bus driver, expressed regret to Douglas County School District officials for his actions. Nonetheless, he defended his behavior, arguing that he was attempting to "educate" and "manage" the students who were passengers on his bus.
A sudden jolt caused confusion and fear among the students on the school bus, ranging from kindergarten to 6th grade.
Calling For Help
In the chaos, one student called her parents to report the incident. "The bus driver slammed on the brakes and someone is bleeding on their cheek, but the driver doesn't seem to care," the student said.
When the bus arrived at Fitzgerald's stop, she was in tears. The driver closed the door and began to drive off before stopping and speaking with the adult who came to pick up the distressed little girl.
Another Student In Tears
As soon as her fourth-grade son came tearing through the door, out of breath, sobbing, and shaking, Lauren Thomason knew something was terribly wrong. She quickly calmed him down and he told her about the frightening incident that occurred on the bus that afternoon.
After hearing his story, Thomason contacted the Douglas County School District Transportation Department to request the video footage. Her son had hit his head on the seat back in front of him and his friend had hit his head on the window, causing them both pain.
This was especially concerning since her son had recently suffered from a concussion due to a slip on ice. Thomason was terrified and wondered if her son needed to go to the hospital. She was also uneasy since this was not the usual bus driver and wanted to know who was responsible for hurting her child.
He faces 30 misdemeanor counts of child abuse. One of the charges is child abuse with bodily injuries, which carries a maximum sentence of 364 days in jail. He is due for his first court appearance in May.
Read More Here: KRDO