An area father claims his son was beat up by his bus driver. Now, that bus driver is going to trial to face the charges against him.
Scott Brown said it’s obvious his 14-year-old son, Jacob, was beaten.
“You could tell and it looked like he had been beaten, because he had,” said Scott Brown.
Brown said Jacob’s physical scars have healed, but the emotional wounds are still very raw.
“He told me he had been dreaming that he was on the bus and that he was getting beat up again,” said Brown.
Jacob has severe autism.
“It is really complete immersion parenting,” said Scott Brown. “It is 24/7, it is continuous supervision.”
In March of last year, Jacob was on the bus headed home from Blue River Valley High School. Bus driver Billy Sorrell was behind the wheel. After being told repeatedly to move, Jacob refused to sit in his assigned seat. According to witnesses, that was when Billy Sorrell lost it. Sorrell put the bus in park and walked back to where Jacob was sitting and forcibly moved the teen into the correct seat.
“DCS had taken pictures of his head, he was clearly missing hair,” said Scott Brown. “They did not photograph him until the next day, that is when I talked to the school board.
“Still, the next day he had purple marks on his leg, it was the the shape of Bill’s kneecap in Jacob’s thigh there, where he had been driven into the wall of the bus while he sat there.”
Sorrell’s is not talking, but he told investigators on that March afternoon that Jacob told him, “you touch me and I’ll kill you.” Sorrell said Brown “threw himself into the side of the bus,” then slapped Sorrell across the face. Sorrell said he grabbed the boy’s hair because he thought Jacob might “head-butt” him.
Sorrell is charged with a felony count of battery. Scott Brown said no matter what his son allegedly did, he did not deserve what Sorrell dished out.
“To grab a child as disabled as Jacob and physically assault them, that means there really is not that much that I would not fathom this guy doing to a student on a bus,” said Brown.
Brown said his family’s biggest fear is that Sorrell could one day be back behind the wheel.
“If he returns to driving a bus there could be children in a hospital, or even funeral services for children that were not protected from this guy,” said Brown.
The 14-year-old is now home-schooled. Witnesses said Sorrell did not stop assaulting Jacob until other students jumped in.
Sorrell’s trial is set for Feb. 25. The Henry County Prosecutors Office told Fox59 they are confident the case will go to trial. There will be no plea deal.