INDIANAPOLIS – What happened on an Indianapolis school bus is beyond disturbing, and FOX59 has the video. A bus driver smacks a child with a broom. The driver is suspended, according to the bus company. The shocking video is just part of the story.
FOX59 sat down with the child hit and her mother to get their reaction.
Autumn Bonilla, 14, said she started arguing with the bus driver, while the driver was trying to discipline another child. Bonilla said she swore at the driver, then the two went at it first verbally then physically.
Video appears to show the driver, 47-year-old Charlotte McDaniel, taking a broom to the face of the teen.
“I didn’t know what I got hit with at first,” said Bonilla.
Bonilla said she almost blacked out but stayed conscious as the driver held her down.
“She hit me in my temple with the broomstick. I have a fractured bone in my nose,” she said.
A few minutes before the broom hit, Bonilla and the driver go at it, swearing and fighting. The 14-year-old appears to pin the bus driver down.
“She told me I had to put my phone away, and I told her I wasn’t putting anything away. Then, we started cussing at each other,” she said, “I completely 100 percent admit that I started it. I’m not going to sit here and lie to you. I did start it. But that (doesn’t) give a grown woman a reason to put her hands on me at all.”
Karen Bonilla pulled her daughter out of school and wants the driver punished.
“I couldn’t believe that an adult would hit a child like that,” she said.
IPS Superintendent Dr. Lewis Ferebee said they are investigating and do not agree with how the driver handled things.
“Very concerned and want to assure our community that driver or any driver that exhibits those behaviors will not be allowed to transport our students,” he said.
Autumn and her mother admit the teen’s actions got her in trouble, but they can’t believe it escalated to the level that it did.
“You can say I started it. I got what I deserved,” said Autumn Bonilla.
FOX59 reached out to the bus driver, Charlotte McDaniel. She told us by phone her attorney advised her not to comment. McDaniel is employed by Durham School Services, not Indianapolis Public Schools. The company said McDaniel is on leave, pending an investigation.
IMPD tells us the Marion County Prosecutor is reviewing the case.