School bus driver accused of punching boy in face

Posted at: 12/12/2013 6:59 PM
Updated at: 12/12/2013 7:45 PM
By: Ryan Luby, KOB Eyewitness News 4

The family of an 11-year-old boy said he suffered debilitating injuries after his school bus driver punched him in the face.

"It's completely unfathomable,” parent Scott Dickerson said in an interview with 4 On Your Side investigator Ryan Luby.  “I couldn't imagine a person that's been put in charge of driving kids, back and forth from the neighborhood school, would do that.”

He said the incident occurred Friday afternoon as his son was headed home from Eisenhower Middle School.

According to a police report the family filed with Albuquerque Public Schools, a half dozen students witnessed the ordeal.

An officer wrote that several students, including Dickerson’s son, were watching a video aboard the bus.  As a result, the students said the bus driver blew his whistle, stopped the bus, got out of his seat, and started yelling.  Moments later, they said the driver punched Dickerson’s son in the right forehead with his left fist.

“Yeah, he didn't just slap him, he closed-fist punched him above his right eye,” Dickerson said.

He said the family’s doctor recommended that the boy stay out of school until at least January.

“He's been having headaches ever since and problems sleeping,” Dickerson said.

He said it’s still unclear if the boy suffered a concussion.

According to Albuquerque Public Schools and Durham School Services, the company that operates the bus involved in the allegations, the driver has been placed on unpaid suspension pending the results of an investigation.

“We're definitely taking this matter very seriously,” Molly Hart, a spokesperson for Durham School Services said from her Chicago office.

Dickerson said his family has not yet given thought to filing a lawsuit against the company.  However, he said they hope the driver loses his job or, at the very least, no longer drives buses for children.

“What we want to make sure...that another kid doesn't get hit or mistreated on a bus,” he said.