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Public School Bus Matron Arrested, Fired After Allegedly Grabbing 11-Year-Old Around the Neck


"He could not breathe..."

Image source: Bronx 12 News

The 11-year-old boy admitted the whole thing started because he was trying to talk to his friends on a public school bus and wouldn't sit down, WNBC-TV reported.

Image source: WNBC-TV

But then the Bronx bus matron allegedly stepped over the line when trying to handle the situation — and got arrested and fired from her position as a result.

According to a criminal complaint, Melanie Evans was arrested Tuesday after she told the boy in a loud voice to sit down and then she put her hand around his neck and squeezed, which made it hard for him to breathe, WNBC reported. The boy added that the 35-year-old bus matron scratched him after he put up his arms in self-defense, the compliant said.

Photos submitted to WNBC show the boy with a red ring around his neck and scratches on his arms:

Evans was arraigned Wednesday on charges of criminal obstruction of breathing and acting in a manner injurious to a child in connection with the Jan. 15 incident, WNBC reported.

Katherine Santiago, the boy's mother, claimed on camera to Bronx News 12 that after Evans grabbed her son by the neck she "pinned him against the wall and lifted him into the air."

Image source: Bronx News 12

"The board of ed did not secure my son's safety and she needs to pay for it," she added WNBC on camera. "He could not breathe, he said he was fighting for air and he started pulling her arms off of him. And so she started hitting his arms and scratched him on his arm."

Evans is barred from working with the department of education until after the investigation is complete.

"This alleged behavior is alarming," DOE spokeswoman Devora Kaye told WNBC. "While Ms. Evans is not a DOE employee, she has been removed from her position and will no longer be a bus matron."

Santiago told Bronx News 12 she called police the day of the incident and filed a criminal complaint the day after but police took almost a month to find the bus matron.

Image source: Bronx News 12

Evans' attorney said his client was just trying to control an unruly child, WNBC reported; according to Bronx News 12, Evans asked the bus driver to call police when the incident happened, her lawyer said.

Evans, who has two children, is due back in court on Feb. 18. Bronx News 12 said she's free on bail; it isn't clear if she entered a plea, WNBC said.

Follow Dave Urbanski (@DaveVUrbanski) on Twitter

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