Bus driver faces child abuse charges after slamming on brakes to 'teach kids a lesson'

Bus driver faces child abuse charges after slamming on brakes to 'teach kids a lesson'
Bus driver charged with child abuse after slamming on brakes to 'teach …

A school bus driver is facing 30 counts of child abuse charges after slamming the brakes to teach students a lesson.

Brian Fitzgerald, 60, from Colorado, was heard asking the kids to stay in their seats before saying: "You guys want to see how dangerous that is?"

In the CCTV footage, the driver appears to slam on the brakes while driving around 9 mph, forcing passengers to jerk forward as a result.

"Did you get that?" Brian asked over the microphone. "That's why you need to be in your seat. Turn around and sit down properly."

The students were left stunned, checking on their friends and questioning Brian why he would do something like that.

One kid was even seen making a call, telling the person on the other end: "The bus driver hit the brakes, and somebody got hurt so badly and is, like, bleeding on the cheek."

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Later, Brian told a parent that he was "trying to get them to get in their seats."

"I was coming to a stop, and I hit the brakes hard because they weren't, they were not listening. So, I'm sorry if she got hurt," he said.

One parent told KRDO she was "scared to death" by what happened to her son that day. She claimed that her son had suffered a concussion a few weeks before.

"My son came tearing the through the door that afternoon," she told the outlet. "He sprinted all the way home. He was out of breath and red-faced and absolutely sobbing and shaking. He was terrified."

"Instantly I'm like, okay, do we need to go to the E.R.? What's happening? Who is this person? This is not the regular bus driver,' she said.

According to KRDO, Brian faces 30 counts of child abuse. One of the charges is child abuse with bodily injuries, which has a maximum sentence of 364 behind bars. His first court appearance is expected in May.

Brian, who has since been fired, told ABC in a letter: "I am sincerely sorry for my choice of actions today in my efforts of training students.

"I am still 100 per cent responsible for my actions in trying to both educate and control students on the bus. Being a new driver, I did not make the best decision and if I were able to redo what I did I would rethink my decisions."

A Douglas County School District spokesperson told 13 Investigates: "Riding a bus to and from school should be a happy, enjoyable experience for students. The behaviour and actions of this bus driver are completely unacceptable. We are so grateful to the parents and the principal who reported this incident, allowing us to take swift action and ensure this driver was never again allowed behind the wheel of a DCSD bus."

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