Autistic 7-Year-Old P.J. Rossi Abused by Bus Staff, Parents Sue

| by Michael Allen

In Brooklyn, New York, the parents of a severely autistic son, P.J. Rossi, are finally getting their day in court after 7 years.

In 2005, P.J. Rossi, then 7 years old, was verbally abused by bus monitor Connie Clark and bus driver Robert Fischetti, while he bashed his head 80 times against the side of the bus.

On an audio recording, Clark can be heard yelling: “Shut up! All right, stop it, now, P.J.! We got a crazy kid here.”

P.J. was also called a “knucklehead” and taunted by bus driver Fischetti.

P.J.'s mom, Lisa Rossi, secretly made the audio tape after noticing that her son, who cannot speak, was coming home with bumps on his head.

Rossi told the New York Post: “I put a tape recorder in his backpack so I could find out what was going on."

The abuse led to criminal charges against Clark and a lawsuit against the Department of Education and the Atlantic Express bus company. Clark took a no-jail misdemeanor plea.

Lisa Rossi and her husband, Paul, say that P.J. had his development stunted by the absue, and said P.J. was denied a properly trained staffer on the bus. The Rossi family is suing for unspecified damages.