COBB COUNTY, Ga. - A Cobb County bus driver has been charged with simple assault and simple battery after allegedly putting his hands on a ten-year-old student.
The warrants were issued for the driver, Richard Tebbens, in a Cobb County Magistrate Court on Monday.
Surveillance video from the bus shows Tebbens slamming on the brakes and charging toward the back of the bus.
"I’m talking, and you are disobeying the rules!" Tebbens is heard saying to a student. "You are to sit down and face front."
Justin Mosley said Tebbens laid his hands on his 10-year-old son.
"He grabbed my son by the collar and jacked him up," Mosley said. "He grabbed him by the chin and forcefully turned his head while yelling profusely in his face."
The video does not show Tebbens touching Mosley’s son as his back is toward the camera.
"He can’t do that. That’s illegal," one of the kids is heard saying in the video.
Mosley said the incident happened back in 2019 and went to the school district to complain right after it happened, but no one seemed to do anything.
"I started off with the transportation department, went to the HR department, I went to the board," he said. "I went to you know everybody you can imagine within the school district and nobody was willing to give me a hand."
When the warrants were issued on Monday, he broke down in tears outside of the courtroom.
Also caught on the surveillance video, the moment when Lewis Elementary School’s assistant principal Karen Osterhoudt got on the bus and asked Tebbens about the incident.
"All I did was turned his head," Tebbens told her in the video. "I didn’t harm him in any way but after I did it I knew it was wrong and I apologized to him when he got off the bus."
Osterhoudt appeared to show sympathy for the bus driver.
"We’re human. We make our judgment calls in the middle then like oh crap," she said. "No worries. I can squash that."
A lawyer for the boy’s family said Tebbens has remained on the job since the incident, and it took them nearly two years for the charges to be brought against him.
"When you grab someone, when you do something in an insulting and provocative manner, that is as clear as it can be simple battery and simple assault," said Mawuli Davis, attorney for the family.
A spokesperson for the Cobb County School District said it can’t comment on pending legal matters.
It’s unclear if Tebbens is still employed with the district.
On Monday evening, he was booked into the Cobb County Jail.
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