A Dallas area school bus driver beaten by 7th and 8th grade students is finally speaking out. The assault was captured on surveillance a video that has surfaced from last February. The driver is now, asking officials to press criminal charges and he has hired an attorney.
The security footage is from February 12. It went public because of an unidentified concerned citizen who was upset that no criminal investigation was underway in the vicious attack on Richardson Independent School District (ISD) bus driver George Diaz, 63.
It shows a handful of middle school aged students punching and pushing Diaz backwards down the steps and out of the bus, according to the KDFW-4 video below.
Before the incident, Diaz was on his route, carrying students from Forest Meadow Jr. High School in Lake Highlands. Then, a student threw a Dr. Pepper bottle towards the back of his head. The bottle missed its target but hit the windshield instead. Diaz pulled over and stopped the bus. He then stood at the front of the aisle. All of this was captured on tape.
The security cameras installed on public school buses only provide video. The visibly heated words that were exchanged between Diaz and some agitated students could not be heard in the video recording.
Diaz picked up a two-way radio and appeared to be alerting dispatch to the events. He later told the local FOX affiliate that he was calling for help from his employer, Dallas County Schools (DCS), the transportation company. Diaz said that his DCS dispatcher told him that company police were on the way.
However, seconds later, several male juveniles appeared to rush Diaz, who exchange shoves with one student. That erupted into the student throwing punches at the elderly bus driver and grandfather of six. Other male students jumped in and swung at the driver.
Diaz also swung once and missed, falling backwards down the bus steps. Several of these same students continued to kick, knock and push him through the bus doors and onto the ground. KDFW-4 also reported that other students got out of the bus “jockeying for position trying to get a good view of the violent attack.”
Diaz told the TV news outlet that a woman finally saw what happened and intervened.
Following the altercation, Diaz asked dispatch if he could drop off the rest of the kids on board. DCS police never showed up, he said.
The school district, Richardson ISD, said three students were suspended after they learned of the attack. Diaz told FOX 4, suspension was not enough.
Since the video aired, Richardson ISD Superintendent Rick Sorrells promised to examine the DCS police department handling of the case and meet with Diaz.
DCS Police Chief Peters claimed no knowledge of the video or the incident to KDFW-4. He said that someone dropped the ball on this case and that driver’s protocol would have been to contact dispatch and the dispatcher would then send DCS police officers to assist the driver, and if deemed necessary, arrest the teens who assaulted the elderly driver. Now, an investigation has begun.
However, Diaz said otherwise, that he went to the DCS Police Department the next day where he viewed the video with a Lieutenant. Diaz also claimed that Peters discouraged him from pressing charges.
About Peters saying he never knew about the incident, Diaz said, “I can’t believe that he dared to say that! He is a liar. That’s what he is.”
Diaz told KDFW-4 he still experiences pain from the attack. “I can’t even lift my arm [in certain ways].”
He has hired a criminal defense attorney, Pete Schulte, a former deputy sheriff and former prosecutor, to represent him.
“The bus driver is the adult in charge,” said Schulte. “These are middle schoolers. They have to listen to the authority that’s on that bus, and when they don’t and they start throwing punches, that’s a crime.”
Follow Merrill Hope on Twitter @OutOfTheBoxMom.