Vicious assault on Michigan school bus driver caught on tape

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A Kalamazoo, Michigan teenager is in a juvenile home charged with assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder after he was caught on surveillance tape beating his school bus driver.

The incident occurred at around 7:30 a.m. Tuesday on a Kalamazoo Public Schools bus.

Police say the teen, a student at the Kalamazoo Regional Education Service Agency's Valley Center School, was apparently upset with how the driver was performing her duties.

The video on the bus shows the teen verbally threatening her and then walking to the front of the bus.

The driver stopped the bus and the teen repeatedly punched her in the face and head while she tried to radio for help.

Two other students pulled the teen off the driver several times before he stopped beating her.

Police arrived at the scene but the suspected 16-year-old male student had already got off the bus and fled the scene.

Kalamazoo Township Police Chief Tim Bourgeouis said the driver, a 37-year-old Kalamazoo woman, suffered some several contusions, lacerations, and bruises to her face, and one of her fingers was broken.

She was taken to a hospital and later released.

Officers located the suspect at his Kalamazoo house and took him into custody.

The suspect's mother says she doesn't know what triggered her son to snap, saying, "I'm just trying to figure is it something that set him off to make him go on a rage?".

She says her son has some mental problems.

He is bipolar and has been hospitalized before.

Still, she says he has never been violent like this before.

She says after she learned what happened she first called the transportation office to make sure the driver was okay.

"Right now I just keep continuing to pray for the bus driver and my son. I don't condone what he do...I want my son to know that I love him," she said.

The teen will be back in court the first week of April.

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Emily Zangaro, NBC Newschannel


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