HANCOCK COUNTY, Ind. – Bus driver, Harold Cass, 74, has been charged with battery after allegedly shoving a special needs child off a school bus.
On August 10, an at home nurse was waiting for the 13-year-old to get off the school bus in Hancock County. The nurse told investigators the teen made it to the top step and then fell into her arms. She called police and reported Cass pushed him off.
“He was on the step, starting to walk down and she said all of a sudden he just comes flying down towards her,” said Jill Reeves, the victim’s mother.
The teen was supposedly taking a while to get off the bus because it was raining. Jill Reeves feels there’s no excuse for what happened, no matter how long it took for her son.
“I wasn’t happy he would do that to him. He can’t even speak for himself,” said Jill Reeves, the victim’s mother.
When Hancock County investigators interviewed Cass, he told them the teen "lost his footing and fell out of the door of the bus."
Court papers reveal the bus surveillance video from the bus shows Cass shoving the teen off. When investigators told Cass about the video evidence, he still denied it.
“We expect that our children are going to be safe in those environments and whenever there are things that give us reason to believe the children are not safe it’s something that causes us concern and law enforcement is going to look into those things,” said Brent Eaton, Hancock County Prosecutor.
Eastern Hancock County School Corporation released a statement saying, “We are glad the student was being helped off the bus by another adult and was not hurt. The driver was immediately taken off his route. His suspension was approved at last evening's Board meeting and he was terminated as well. The safety and well-being of our students always comes first. His behavior was unacceptable. Officials were also notified immediately.”
Reeves understands dealing with her son can require a lot of patience and she expects those who are trusted to work with him to be patient people.
“I don’t want him to go to jail or anything I don’t think he should work with kids,” said Reeves.
Cass will be in court at the end of September.