A bus driver’s claims that parents boarded his school bus and beat him last Monday led to several parents’ arrests.
Palm Beach County School bus driver Joseph Beauzile, 40, said that he had pulled up to a bus stop and was preparing to let the Westwood Elementary students off the bus. When the children tried to rush off the bus, he stopped them, closed the door, and made them get in a single file line.
Beauzile’s organizing the students was apparently the last straw for some of the awaiting parents. Shacaurra Burns, 25, stormed onto the bus and pulled the emergency brake. Beauzile locked Burns in, and called the police.
As terrified children looked on, Ryan Beckford, 33, ripped open the bus doors and started punching Beauzile. Another man took Beauzile’s keys and threw them outside.
“I was protecting the kids, protecting the property of the school district, and protecting myself,” stated Beauzile, who said he feared for his life.
Burns and Beckford are now facing charges of battery, trespassing, and cruelty toward a child. On Tuesday, police arrested the third suspect, 33-year-old Jean Bertrand, and took him to Palm Beach County Jail.
Mom: School bus driver
“It was crazy because everyone wanted to go home,” said Burns, who was released from jail on Monday.
The incident was recorded on the school bus’s surveillance video; the school district has yet to release it.
An officer who viewed the tape said that as one man held Beauzile down and another man beat him, the children on the bus were crying with “terrified looks on their faces.” One student even jumped out of the bus window.
“I did lose my temper,” Burns admitted. “I believe the tape on the bus is going to be horrendous on my part because I was using foul language. But I did not put my hands on him.”
Even as Beauzile’s fellow bus drivers organized a protest for justice on Monday, Burns remains unapologetic.
“He deserved everything he got that day,” she stated.