PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A school bus driver accused of screaming at two middle school students and kicking them off the bus could have his charges dropped.
Larry Bonzo, 55, showed up at the Beaver County Courthouse Friday to face charges of endangering the welfare of children.
Bonzo, a driver for R.J. Rhodes Transit, is accused of throwing two 14-year-old eighth graders from Ambridge Middle School off of his bus back in February in frigid temperatures.
“Apparently, they were standing up; they weren’t doing what they were supposed to do, so he stopped the bus initially, and said get in your seats. So, finally they get in their seats,” said defense attorney Myron Sainovich. “Once they got in the seats, they started pounding on the seats and pounding on the side of the bus, claiming that that was some type of music.”
According to the police report, that was when Bonzo told the students to, “Stop the [expletive] noise. Sit your [expletive] down, or get off my damn bus!”
The students claim Bonzo kicked them off the bus several miles away from their homes along Legionville Road. One of them forgot his coat, and was walking outside in 21-degree weather.
“They made an adult decision and got off the bus,” said Sainovich.
But because they got off the bus several miles from their bus stop, Bonzo was charged in the case and temporarily relieved from duty.
“We have sometimes some children that don’t behave correctly on buses and things like that, and I can understand how frustrating it must be for some bus drivers to handle the loud noise,” Sainovich added.
Bonzo’s attorney says his client has agreed to take an anger management class; and for the next six months, he’ll be under the supervision of an adult probation officer.
If there are no further incidents and no arrests, the charges will reportedly be dropped.