A Martin County school crossing guard put her safety on the line Thursday morning to protect children outside their middle school according to the Martin County Sheriff's Office.
Riesa Miller is a crossing guard outside Hidden Oaks Middle School in Palm City.
Cellphone video captured a driver, identified as Elizabeth Boynes, aggressively trying to pass Miller who was ordering Boynes to wait and turn a different direction.
A driver waiting at the stop light outside the school along Martin Highway noticed the confrontation.
Kristie Baldwin was waiting to turn into a parking lot across the street from the middle school. Her 13-year-old daughter, Sierra, was in the car.
“And I’m like, get out your phone, videotape this, we've got to call the cops,” said Kristie Baldwin. “I saw the car come out of the school and bump into the lady,” Sierra said.
“The car backed up, charged toward the woman and bumped her again and was pushing her along with the car,” Baldwin said.
Miller wasn’t injured, but Boynes ultimately passed Miller, ignoring Miller’s orders not to turn left.
Martin County Lt. Micah Skowronski supervises crossing guards in the county.
“She had children in the intersection and put herself between a moving vehicle and those children,” Skowronski said. “Very brave of her. Very admirable.”
Deputies tracked Boynes down and arrested her for misdemeanor battery. She could have been charged with felony battery, but Miller asked law enforcement not to file the more serious charge.
Boynes told deputies she recently had surgery on her brain and could not make quick movements with her head. She also attributed that handicap to having to turn left.
Throughout the interview, detectives learned Boynes was from Arizona and served in law enforcement.
She was quoted saying “Wow. The crossing guards here in Florida have a lot of power”.
Skowronski says crossing guards are protected as law enforcement would be and are expected to be treated with the same respect.
He says there have already been other issues with drivers disregarding crossing guards, usually yelling or ignoring their orders.
“It happens more frequently that what we would like to talk about.”
This case, he said, was more extreme.
He urges drivers to remember the crossing guards are there to protect children.
Other parents who saw the recording of the incident were shocked.
Jodie Niemeyer has children at Hidden Oaks Middle School.
“That is just unbelievable…Be patient and just take some deep breaths,” Niemeyer said.
Detectives will be evaluating whether Boynes should be driving if her condition limits her driving capabilities.
She was arrested and given a $750 bond.
Miller will be able to decide if she’s comfortable coming back to work, but she is expected to be back to work Friday.