District responds to two violent school bus incidents

District: These are isolated cases

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. - After two violent school bus incidents in two days, a Hillsborough County School District spokesman says the occurrences are isolated.

The most recent of the two happening Friday morning. 

A 17-year-old Blake High School student says he was on his bus listening to music when the bus made a routine stop at the corner of Maydell and Palm River in Hillsborough County.

That's just across the street from Palm River Elementary School.  When the driver opened the doors, the teen, who didn't want to be identified, says three males got on the bus. 

They then headed toward him and started punching him in the face.  He says they hit him about 10 times, then ran off the bus.

Steve Hegarty, spokesman for the district, says they have been looking at the surveillance tapes from the bus incident Friday morning.

Not only are they looking to see who the suspects were, but they also are trying to find out if they even attended a Hillsborough County School.  The teen victim said he knew one of his attackers, but could not identify the other two.

This just a day after a fight broke out on a bus carrying Greco Middle School students in Temple Terrace.  Around 4:30 Thursday afternoon, the bus driver pulled over to try to get a handle on the situation on the bus. 

A Hillsborough County Sheriff's Deputy happened to be in the area.  The deputy pulled up behind the bus to see what the issue was and when he boarded, he tried to break it up. 

He was pushed by a 15-year-old student involved in that fight, at which time he broke his finger.

The 15-year-old student was arrested with a number of charges pending, including aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer. 

The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office has confirmed he was taken to a juvenile detention center on Thursday night.

Hegarty says in the Temple Terrace bus incident it's clear everyone involved in the fight were students, but they can't be so sure if the people who boarded the bus headed to Blake High Friday morning were supposed to be there.  

The district says they are working in tandem with the Tampa Police Department to get everything figured out.  

They do assure parents that these are isolated cases and that in fact, the school transportation system is safe.

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