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School Driver on Leave Pending Inquiry

February 09, 1995|LISA O'NEILL | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

An Irwindale school bus driver was placed on paid administrative leave Monday after a couple alleged he assaulted their 9-year-old son during a bus ride last week.

The driver, who has not been arrested or formally charged, will remain on leave until a police investigation into the matter is completed, Irwindale City Manager David Caretto said.

An Irwindale couple, Donald and Arlene Sanchies, allege that the driver assaulted their son Jason, a third-grader at Merwin Elementary School, after Jason and another boy fought on the bus on Feb. 2.

The Sanchieses allege that after questioning the boys about their behavior, the driver jerked Jason from his seat, gripped him by the neck and shook him. The driver then allegedly pushed Jason four or five feet back, causing him to hit his head on a seat, Arlene Sanchies said.

The driver could not be reached for comment.

Irwindale Police Cmdr. Charles Crawford said the department is investigating the allegations. "We will obviously try to determine what occurred," he said.

The city of Irwindale owns its own bus to transport city residents and take students to and from school. The bus driver, and two fill-in drivers who work when he is on vacation or sick, are city employees, Caretto said.

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