UPDATE: Eastern Hancock Schools superintendent Vicki McGuire issued this statement regarding the case:
“The driver was immediately taken off his route. His suspension was approved at last evening’s board meeting, and he was terminated as well. The safety and well-being of our students always comes first. His behavior was unacceptable. (Law enforcement and Indiana Department of Education) officials were also notified immediately.”
GREENFIELD — An Eastern Hancock Schools bus driver faces a charge of felony battery amid allegations he shoved a child with special needs out of the vehicle when he didn’t exit quickly enough, police said.
Harold Eugene Cass, 74, 10188 N. County Road 675E, Pendleton, was fired from his position during Monday’s school board meeting; he was not arrested but has been ordered to appear in court at the end of the month, court records show.
A home health nurse who helps care for the young victim called police in August after watching the boy tumble out of the school bus one day when he was being dropped off after school, court documents state.
The nurse said she saw Cass shove the boy as he ordered him to move faster, court documents state. She told officers she saw the boy’s chest and head jerk forward before his feet moved, court documents state.
The boy was not hurt, court documents state.
Charging documents state Cass denied the allegations when questioned by police.
Cass told officers the boy had not wanted to get off the bus because it was raining heavily that day. The boy lost his footing, stumbled and fell out the door, Cass said, according to court documents.
Cass returns to Hancock County Superior Court 1 Sept. 29 for a hearing on the case.
See the full story in Wednesday’s Daily Reporter.