Disturbing video has surfaced of an attack on a school bus in Pinellas County, Fla. In the video, three 15-year-old teenagers are seen brutally beating a 13-year-old boy. After the fight, the victim left the bus with black eyes, bruises and a broken arm.
Since the video has been publicized, many have called into question whether the bus driver, 64-year-old John Moody, did enough to stop the fight. Moody can be heard frantically calling dispatchers during the fight, even saying “they’re going to beat this boy to death,” but he never physically intervenes in an attempt to stop the beating.
“You gotta get somebody here quick, quick, quick, quick," he told dispatchers. "They’re about to beat this boy to death over here. Please get somebody here quick. They're still doing it. There’s nothing I can do.”
According to Pinellas County guidelines, Moody did nothing wrong. County rules state that bus drivers can intervene in a fight if they feel safe, but they are not required to. Most counties in Florida have rules specifically forbidding bus drivers from trying to stop fights.
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Some questioned whether Moody would be charged for not intervening in the fight. Gulfport Police Department Chief Robert Vincent said that he believes Moody could have done more to help the victim.
“There was time for him to intervene and or check on the welfare of the child in this case," Vincent said. "He didn’t make any effort to do so and that’s what we want to bring to the attention of the prosecutor.”
But Chief Assistant State Attorney Bruce Bartlett said since Moody was not required to intervene under county law, the state has no grounds on which to charge Moody.
“It wasn't like he was looking out the window cleaning his fingernails or something like that," Bartlett said.
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The three 15-year-olds have been arrested on aggravated assault charges.
Here is video of the beating. We must warn you that footage is graphic.