In the Florida school bus beating case, the driver said he did everything he could. Driver John Moody did not physically intervene when three boys, age 15, beat a 13-year-old. However, prosecutors say there are no grounds to charge him with neglect.
The beating happened on a Pinellas County, Florida, school bus last month. As reported by CNN, Moody contacted dispatch as soon as the fight began. The video revealed that Moody asked dispatch to send help. He is also heard telling the boys to stop the beating.
Moody has been criticized for not separating the boys. Gulfport Police Department Chief Robert Vincent explains:
“There was clearly an opportunity for him to intervene and or check on the welfare of the children, or the child in this case, and he didn’t make any effort to do so.”
Moody, age 64, contends that he did everything he could. He explains that he “wanted to help him so bad.” However, he did not feel it was safe to get physically involved. Moody explains that he is still emotionally distressed over the incident. He retired from his position two weeks after the school bus beating.
As reported by WJLA News, school policy does not require physical intervention if a bus driver’s safety is in question. Prosecutors agree with the policy.
Chief Assistant State Attorney Bruce Bartlett explains that Moody’s reaction was as expected. He told the boys to stop and called for help.
The 13-year-old eventually got away from the older boys and fled the bus. He was later treated for his injuries. He ended up with a broken arm and two black eyes.
The beating reportedly stemmed from an earlier incident. The younger boy told school officials that the other boys tried to sell him drugs. When the older boys found out, they beat him.
The three boys were arrested and have been charged with aggravated assault.
The school bus beating will continue to draw controversy. Moody wishes he could have done more to help, but he did not feel safe trying to pull the boys apart.
[Image via Flickr]