Sarasota Co. bus driver charged with striking, biting special needs student
(BTLS Staff) NORTH PORT, Fla. – A school bus driver in Sarasota County is in trouble with the law for an incident that occurred on his district vehicle on March 6th.
Max Eugene Bedwell, a 63-year-old North Port resident, was arrested Wednesday on battery and contributing to the delinquency of a minor charges.
According to a North Port Police Department report Bedwell was transporting students from Oak Park Elementary School when a special needs child began yelling obscenities. The suspect asked the student to quiet down but the 11-year-old boy refused.
Bedwell pulled the bus over and asked the other driver on board to get behind the wheel. The report states Bedwell attempted to physically restrain the child by sitting on his legs. The boy struggled and grabbed the driver in a ‘neck lock.’
As the two continued to scuffle Bedwell’s glasses were broken.
Investigators say the student suffered bodily harm when the suspect bit and struck him during the altercation. Another student also slapped the boy and Bedwell covered up the surveillance camera on the bus with his hand during at least part of the incident.
The family of the student filed a complaint and it was investigated by the North Port Police Department.
Bedwell was booked into the Sarasota County Jail and released after posting a bond of $1,000. He is scheduled to be arraigned on April 20th
The suspect has worked for the school district since 2006 with no complaints. He has been reassigned pending the outcome of the criminal investigation.