This story emphasizes the need for parents to take an active role in ensuring the safety of our child while traveling on public school buses.(See our previous story – School Bus Terrorism Threat)
Can we post a police officer on every bus, or at every bus-stop…? obviously not, but there is no reason why parents can’t work together to ensure that at each bus stop there is an adult present when the kids are picked up and dropped off.
Such a program is not guaranteed to stop an attack but it would certainly serve as a powerful deterrent in that community. Think neighborhood bus-watch program.
Students on board a school bus got a scare Friday morning when a man pushed his way on board, yelled at the kids and took some of the their backpacks.
It happened at about 8:45 a.m. in the 3400 block of 97th Drive SE as the bus was taking kids to Glenwood Elementary School.
Kristine Rayevich’s 10-year-old stepdaughter had just gotten on the bus when her neighbor started pounding on Kristine’s door.
“‘Call 911. Call 911’ and she’s like ‘there’s a man on the bus with the kids,'” said Rayevich.
Just minutes earlier at another stop, a student says the 46-year-old man stole his backpack. Witnesses say the man then drove his pickup truck to the next stop.
“He literally pushed through that door and got on the bus,” said Rayevich.
Witnesses say he walked down the aisle cursing, then turned to Kristen Anderson’s daughter.
“Went up to her, grabbed her arm and took her backpack and said ‘let’s see how much your parents love you,'” said Anderson.
Rayevich ran onto the bus, and she says the youngest children kindergartners were terrified.
“They’re all crying, screaming hysterical and I looked at him, and I said ‘that’s not your backpack.’ I said ‘that’s one of the kids’ backpacks.'”
As the children sat terrified, the man screamed at Rayevich and ran off the bus.
“They’re sitting there scared and crying and saying ‘I want my mom,’ so it was scary. Very, very scary,” said Rayevich.
Sheriff’s deputies arrived a few minutes later and arrested the man. He was allegedly carrying two knives.
None of the 38 kids on board was hurt and they were taken to school.
“The counselor invited them into a classroom where they shared their experiences, their thoughts,” said Lake Stevens School District spokesperson Arlene Hutton.
The suspect faces charges of robbery for taking the backpacks and kidnapping for boarding the bus. Deputies say while on his way to jail, he kicked out the window of the patrol car and had to be subdued with pepper spray. After a visit to the hospital, he was booked into the Snohomish County Jail on charges of robbery, malicious mischief and assault.
Additional details are available at HeraldNet.
HeraldNet: Lake Stevens kids terrified on school bus