TACOMA, Wash. - A Tacoma school bus driver was accused of assaulting a young girl Thursday afternoon, and then broke down in tears after getting off a bus.
The driver picked up students after school from Horace Mann Elementary.
KIRO 7 Eyewitness News reporter Kevin McCarty spoke with the school district and they said it did not appear a student was assaulted. However, Jada Newton was on board the bus and she said she saw the incident.
“I saw the bus driver push a little girl on the bus,” said Newton. “I guess she was playing and yelling with her friends.”
Newton said the assault wasn’t the only incident, but she saw the driver break down while having a conversation on his cellphone right in front of the bus.
“He got off the bus, he stopped us almost by the Boys and Girls Club, and he stopped and was crying and said how he needed to be removed off the bus,” said Newton.
Surveillance cameras on the bus were recording during the time of the incident.
Stacy Flores of the Tacoma Public Schools said a preliminary review does not show an assault, but since an allegation has been made, a more thorough investigation will be conducted.
In a statement from Durham Transportation, the company that contracts with the Tacoma Public Schools, said the driver has been placed on leave. The company also said they are currently in the process of investigating and will take the incident very seriously.
Newton told KIRO 7 the driver is a substitute driver who sometimes yells at student on board.
The surveillance video inside the bus could be released sometime next week.