Gulfport bus driver won't face charges in bus attack of 13-year-old student
5:13 PM, Aug 1, 2013
8:09 PM, Aug 1, 2013
GULFPORT - No charges will be pressed against the 64-year-old man who was driving a Pinellas County School Bus while a 13-year-old student was brutally attacked by three bigger teens on July 9.
The bus driver, John Moody, made a radio call for assistance when three 15-year-old boys kicked and stomped on a smaller 13-year-old boy, but the Gulfport Police Chief Robert Vincent questioned whether Moody did enough.
Investigators determined that before the fight on the bus, the victim had encountered the one of the older boys inside a school restroom at Lealman Intermediate School.
The suspect tried to sell the victim drugs. The 13-year-old reported the suspect to school officials, but at the end of the day, the victim and the suspect ended up riding home on the same school bus.
As the bus stopped at 20
th Avenue South and 51
st Street, three suspects attacked the victim, punching, kicking and stomping him simultaneously, at least 23 times. The incident was caught on camera and posted to YouTube.
The bus driver called for assistance, but did not physically intervene.
One of the suspects took the victim's money and all the suspects got off of the bus.
All three teens were eventually arrested and charged with battery, and one with robbery.
The police chief commented that the bus driver didn't make any effort to check on the welfare of the child who was beaten. But a district spokesperson pointed out, a bus driver is only required to radio dispatch, and step in if they deem the situation safe.
The police department explored a child neglect charge for the bus driver, but prosecutors ultimately decided not to press charges against him.
The bus driver officially resigned July 15, a few days after the attack.