Colorado school bus driver faces charges after video shows him slamming on brakes, jolting students
Colorado bus driver Brian Fitzgerald is first seen on March 1 telling the students to sit in their seats. (Douglas County School District)
A Colorado school bus driver has been fired and is now facing dozens of counts of child abuse after being caught on video slamming the brakes, sending elementary students tumbling into the seats in front of them.
The incident involving the Castle Rock Elementary School students happened in the Denver area on March 1 as 61-year-old driver Brian Fitzgerald is heard telling the children the importance of staying seated while transporting them home after school.
“You guys need to be in your seats,” Fitzgerald is heard telling the students in footage the Douglas County School District provided to Fox News Digital. “You guys want to see how dangerous that is?”
Fitzgerald then appears to slam on the bus’s brakes, and the students lurch forward and then complain.
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“Do you get that? That is why you need to be in your seat,” Fitzgerald then says. “Turn around and sit down properly. If you guys can’t do that, you will get written up, do you get that?”
“Why is he doing – did he do that?” one of the students is heard saying.
Fitzgerald then appears to slam on the brakes, causing the students to hit the seats in front of them. (Douglas County School District)
A district spokeswoman described the video as being “incredibly difficult to watch.”
“Riding a bus to and from school should be a happy, enjoyable experience for students,” Paula Hans said in a statement. “The behavior and actions of this bus driver are completely unacceptable.”
The district told Fox News Digital that Fitzgerald has since been let go from his job.
“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,” Hans added.
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In other footage released from the district, Fitzgerald engages in conversation with an adult after a child departed the bus at their stop.
“Is she ok? Is she alright?” he asks out of the bus’s entrance.
“Yeah, she was hit, though, so try to go easy on the brakes,” the adult says.
“Dude, they were bouncing all over the place, and I was coming to a stop, and I hit the brakes hard, but they were running all over the place, ok? They have to sit in their seats – they would not get bounced around if they didn’t stay in their seats,” Fitzgerald is heard telling the adult.
“So I’m sorry if she got hurt, but there was 60 kids on here bouncing all over the place and I’m the substitute driver, and the driver that normally does it does not have any control on these kids, so I was trying to get them to get in their seats,” he added.
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The Colorado 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office told Fox News Digital that Fitzgerald is now facing one count of child abuse-knowing/reckless-bodily injury and 29 counts of child abuse-knowing/reckless-no injury, all misdemeanors.
He is expected to appear in court on May 12.
Read more of this story from FOX News.
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