A sadistic "knockout" attack by two teenage gang members against another boy on a Polk County, Florida, school bus has led administrators to take a new and desperate measure to protect schoolchildren — from their classmates. At least on buses carrying special education students, law enforcement officers will now ride along with the kids, to make sure the students don't attack each other.
The sickening knockout attack was caught on tape at 1:48 in the afternoon last Monday by the bus security camera. You can see the attack in the video below.
In the video, 15-year-old Christopher Dewayne Lewis — who had a battery conviction earlier this year, is seated behind a sleeping teen, Armani Dorsey. According to police, he tells other students to start recording on their cellphones, because he plans to knock Dorsey out.
But the attack was even more devious that that. As soon as the other riders have their cell phones ready, Lewis reaches over and slaps the sleeping Dorsey on the face. Dorsey wakes up and turns around to confront Lewis.
While Dorsey is distracted, another teen, Jo'Terious Lee Denmark, 14, who is seated in front of Dorsey, but now out of Dorsey's view, launches a sucker punch to Dorsey's jaw.
The victimized student collapses, knocked out cold.
"We are going to have order on that bus one way or another," said Dick Mullenax, Polk County school board chair. "We provide transportation to those schools, but if they can't behave, we will see where we go from there."
The school board has now ordered off-duty sheriff's deputies to ride buses bound for two special schools for troubled teenagers.
But the board itself acknowledged that it needs to do more to keep potentially dangerous kids off school buses. Jo'Terious Lee Denmark had actually been banned from riding the buses after another violent incident last year.
"We are reevaluating how we track student ridership information, in hopes of preventing such incidents," the district said in a statement.
Placing adult attendants on the bus is not enough, said parents in the school district, who favored the addition of law enforcement officers to the school buses — though the Polk County Sheriff's Department says it hopes the move is only temporary.
"Nowadays the kids are beating up the grownups. It's real bad," said parent LeShon Pervall.
Both Lewis and Denmark told police that Dorsey belongs to a rival gang and that's why he was targeted in the knockout attack. The teen was given immediate aid and taken off the bus still unconscious, but doctors said he apparently suffered no serious inury from the heartless knockout attack.