Police: Bus driver charged after leaving boy on bus

October 11, 2012 8:55:34 PM PDT
A bus driver is facing a felony after police say she failed to check her bus for students and subsequently left a 9-year-old boy who had fallen asleep alone on the bus in a northwest Houston parking lot.

Nine-year-old Theo Jones says he's doing just fine now, and he's even back in school. We got a chance to talk to the boy about what happened Wednesday.

Theo says he was scared when he realized he was all alone on his school bus. No students, no bus driver.

"I woke up and there was nobody on the bus. I sat there for a minute and I got off the bus," Theo said.

According to police, it was during the morning bus route Wednesday when Theo fell asleep. The driver then finished her route, returned to the bus lot, parked and left.

Police say around 12:30pm is when Theo woke up and got off the bus, only to be met by a pit bull living behind the gate where the buses are parked.

"The dog was chasing after me and it jumped on me," Theo said.

Mary Martin says her husband heard the boy screaming for help and ran over. She says he was able to help the boy over the fence.

"They threw food at the dog and got the dog's attention while Albert, my husband, put his hands on the gate so the little boy could get on his hands and he could pull him over the gate."

Theo's mother, Meagan Jones, says she was at work when she got the phone call explaining what had happened.

"I was angry at first. I'm relieved that he is OK," she said.

The bus driver, Simona Alcaide, was arrested and charged with endangering a child, a felony charge. According to charging documents, Alcaide failed to check the bus for students before locking the bus and leaving the area.

"It's 30 seconds to check a bus, to walk it before you park it," Meagan Jones said.

HISD says the bus and driver are not employed by the district. Because Theo lives within a two-mile radius of the school, parents pay for a private bus company.

According to neighbors, that pit bull does live behind these gates and was not on the loose. Theo was taken to the hospital to be checked out after this incident. Again, he is OK.

Alcaide's bond has been set at $5,000.


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