street. CLAIRSVILLE – Some brief but heated moments on Monday could lead to serious charges, according to the Belmont County Sheriff’s Office.
A video of a fight between middle school students on a Union Local School District bus was widely seen on social media. It appears to show one student hitting another student until the bus driver returns and handcuffs the student. Then the student appears to hit the driver. Then another student assists the driver, who releases the bound student. Tell the driver and co-student to sit down. He complied, but yelled insults at the driver.
Sheriff David Lucas said the driver acted appropriately and investigators found nothing wrong with him.
There was an altercation between students on a school bus. The school bus driver pulled over, stepped in and I will say the school bus driver did a very good job separating the kids and basically keeping a kid away so he could be taken care of. From there, the school was involved and we were later contacted after the incident. “It was investigated,” he said.
Lucas added that he knew the driver personally.
“I feel like he did his job. His job is to separate two kids who are fighting, and he did everything he could to restrain that kid and stop that kid from fighting. And the video will show that he was assaulted—not just verbally, he was assaulted himself.”
Lucas said the student later threatened him on social media.
“There was a threat later on to the school, so the deputies followed it up. This juvenile, aged 14, was arrested and taken to Sargus (Juvenile Detention Centre) because of the threat made to the school.”
Lucas said the young man could potentially face assault charges and false alarms.
“Also during this incident, the father of the child was personally involved, and he was referred to the public prosecutor in connection with the father’s aggravated threat,” Lucas said.
He said the father threatened the bus driver after dropping off the student.
“We here at the mayor’s office and deputies, we all know about all the violence and everything that happens in schools and children, so we here take it very seriously,” said Lucas. “This is why we have taken an aggressive stance, and we will continue to do so. We will not tolerate this. We all value not only our employees and our community, but our children and their safety.”
Lucas said the altercation and what allegedly happened afterward went beyond a fight.
“It’s one thing, to have an altercation with another student. There’s video on the bus, cameras on the bus, and I think that turned out to be very serious. Even the language and everything by the kid and the parent, we’re not going to tolerate it,” Lucas said. “When you start threatening someone’s life, or threatening serious harm to someone, then you’re going to cross the line, and that’s when we get involved.”