Softball players told police their Hernando bus driver smelled like marijuana

Driver claims it was a student set-up

HERNANDO COUNTY, Fla. - A Hernando County bus driver's job is in jeopardy after New Port Richey Police claim she resisted arrest when students alerted them to the smell of marijuana.

Donna Rogers has driven a bus for the school district since 2004. 

 

Tuesday night, Rogers drove the Hernando High School softball team to a game at Gulf High School, which already had extra police on scene in expectation of a riot between the arch-rival teams.

 

According to Officer Donald Velsor, the riot never occurred, but when the Hernando High School players returned to their bus, they reported smelling marijuana inside. They also told police that Rogers seemed so high, they were afraid to ride home to Brooksville with her.

 

Witnesses saw Rogers smoking behind the bus, but she told them she only smoked cigarettes, Officer Velsor said.

 

About a dozen concerned students and parents confirmed initial concerns, so Officer Velsor and his partner asked Rogers to perform a field sobriety test.

 

"She started screaming, yelling, cursing, got extremely irate and pulled away from me," Officer Velsor said. "She started fighting with me. I was trying to get control of her and place her in handcuffs."

 

After a few minutes, Officer Velsor used a maneuver to take Rogers to the ground. She continued to try to wrestle her arms free, but eventually submitted to handcuffs.

 

Parents had to come pick up their students at Gulf High School while police took Rogers to jail. They never found marijuana on her, so they charged her with resisting arrest.

 

The Hernando County school system refused to comment on the arrest, but have not made any final decisions about Rogers' job. 

 

Rogers was released from the Land O' Lakes jail Wednesday on a $150 bond. 

 

She apologized to police, and according to the report, said, "I just knew one of the students was trying to set me up."

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