PHILMONT, N.Y. (NEWS10) – What started as a confrontation between parents and a school bus driver and aide is now turning into a police issue.
The confrontation was caught on camera where young children can be heard crying to get off their bus.
New York State Police said they’re investigating the incident that involved the co-owner of the bus company, Johnston and Pulcher, based out of Philmont. Police said they’ve reviewed cell phone and surveillance video and their initial reports show no signs of abuse or crimes committed.
Parents said the incident took place during morning pick up on Tuesday. The bus driver arrived at their stop and let some kids on the bus. But they said he then purposely shut the doors on four older children.
A minute or two later, parents said they heard kids crying and screaming out the windows to get off the bus. When the driver finally stopped, a parent started recording.
Parents said the bus driver and aide didn’t respond when asked why their children were crying or why they didn’t pick up the four older children.
State police told NEWS10 ABC the initial police report describe that Tuesday wasn’t the first confrontation between bus drivers and parents on that route.
Parents said the driver, Leo Pulcher, is the co-owner of the bus company. NEWS10 went to Johnston and Pulcher for comment, but Pulcher wasn’t there. Employees said they are aware of the incident.
The Hudson City School District is also aware. In a statement, Superintendent Maria Suttmeier said the district placed a different driver and aide on the bus route for the time being as a precaution.
Below is her full statement:
Earlier this week we received notification from our transportation department about an incident involving a school bus driver, aide and district parents at the morning bus stop. The events are currently under investigation by the state police. We will not have all of the details until the investigation is completed. For precautionary reasons, a different bus driver and a member of the District’s staff is riding on the bus route until the matter is sorted out. The District is working with the bus company vendor to review the incident and determine what transpired so we can determine our next course of action. The physical and emotional safety of our students is our first priority. We want to ensure our students arrive in the morning ready to learn so they can have a successful school day.
One of the young bus riders spoke with NEWS10. She said she’s very scared of the driver.
State police said they’re going to make sure to be thorough in their investigation.