School bus driver John Moody will not face criminal charges for not breaking up a fight among several teens who were on his bus fighting this past July. A UPI report says the teens involved in the beating are facing aggravated battery charges. The victim suffered a broken arm as well as several cuts and bruises. Moody placed a call to the school bus dispatcher imploring that he needed help quickly. He even says on the call “There’s nothing I can do.” But, Gulfport, FL Police Chief Robert Vincent disagrees. “There was an opportunity to intervene…and he didn’t make any effort to do so.”
Florida law states that the call to dispatch is the only required actions by a bus driver when a fight takes place. But CBS affiliate WTSP reports that Moody retired two weeks after Gulfport Police took over the investigation from the local school district. He had been a driver for 17 years. Prosecutors say that Moody was not culpable for child neglect charges in the incident. Moody’s attorney Frank McDermott called the charges “preposterous.”
CNN spoke with the prosecution team. Chief Assistant State Attorney Bruce Bartlett felt there was no basis to charge Moody. “It wasn’t like he was looking out the window cleaning his fingernails or something like that,” he said. Moody said that he is still haunted by the brawl and that he has sleepless nights. “I wanted to help him so bad. I wanted to help him.” Moody said.
The incident started when the three 15-year olds approached the 13-year old. All the students involved attended Lealman Intermediate School, a school for at-risk students who may drop out. The trio wanted the 13-year old to buy drugs while at school. Once he declined, he told school officials what happened. Once the trio found out he told, they caught him on the bus and assaulted him.