Pennsylvania school bus driver accused of forcing kids off at random locations

Watch the report from Action News' David Henry
March 26, 2014 1:13:34 AM PDT
A Delaware County school bus driver is facing serious charges after police say he abandoned a number of children at random locations - some of the kids as young as 5.

55-year-old Wesner Laventure, of the 3300 block of Laurel Road in Sharon Hill, is charged with Child Endangerment and Recklessly Endangering Another Person.

Asia Chavous called the police when her 5-year-old son's bus didn't show up on time.

"Anything could have happened, anything. He could have got snatched, he could have gotten hit by a car, anything," said Chavous.

Laventure is a bus maintenance man who was pressed into service as a driver on Monday. Police say he had the proper route information but didn't follow it.

"Why would you kick a kindergartener off the bus? Who does that?" said Chavous.

Once called, police began to comb the area.

The investigation revealed at least 17 children, ranging in ages from 5-12, were forced off the bus.

"The kids knew that they were in the wrong place. Some of the kids are crying to get back on the bus. He says that he has someplace to go and he leaves," said Chief Robert Smythe, Darby Police.

Officers went to the bus depot where they learned a number of worried parents had called wondering about the whereabouts of their children. The bus depot manager told officers that attempts to contact Laventure had been unsuccessful, and that the driver had failed to make a scheduled pick up in West Philadelphia.

"No contact was made with anyone until one of my officers went to the depot and found the driver on a GPS trying to map out where he was headed," said Chief Smythe.

Patrol officers began locating several children from the bus in various locations - none of which were dropped off at their scheduled stop.

The children told officers that the bus driver had dropped them off because, "he had to go do something," police say.

Several children refused to get off the bus. So Laventure allegedly drove to the intersection of 9th and Main streets where he attempted to force the children off again. He then drove to 12th and Main streets where some of the children got out.

Neither intersection was a scheduled stop.

The younger children were crying and in a panic but the oldest, Kwadair Overton, and another boy calmed them down and then walked them to a safe location.

"We just told them to calm down and that we would take them home and we told their parents what happen," said Kwadair.

The bus company has issued a statement apologizing for the incident. Action News has tried repeatedly to get comment from the William Penn School District but the administration has not responded.

When taken into custody, Laventure allegedly told officers that he saw nothing wrong with what he did and that it is common practice.

Laventure has since been released after posting 10 percent of $20,000 bail.

The investigation continues.


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