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'Don't mess with my kid': Elderly school bus driver punched in face by father of grade schooler, cops say; gets bloody lip, swollen eye, hospital stay

Image source: WBTS-CD video screenshot

An elderly Boston Public Schools bus driver was punched in face by the father of a grade school student last week, police told WBTS-CD, resulting in a bloody lip, a swollen eye, and a hospital stay for the victim.

What are the details?

The driver — who is 70 years old, WFXT-TV said — was taking students home Tuesday afternoon and told authorities a man got on the bus and said something to the effect of "don't mess with my kid" before punching him the face, WBTS reported.

The driver suffered a swollen eye, bloody lip, and was hospitalized, WBTS said, adding that children on the bus said the man who got aboard is the parent of an elementary school student.

More from WBTS:

The parent suspected of the attack has been identified but has not been arrested, according to police. The incident stemmed from something that happened on Monday, according to the police report, in which a student on the bus said the driver had hit her, while the driver said he had caught the girl, who was standing up while the bus was in motion, as she was falling over after he hit the brakes.

Boston Public Schools Superintendent Mary Skipper addressed the incident in a letter to parents Thursday.

"As many of you know, one of our colleagues was assaulted by an adult while completing their route," Skipper wrote in a letter sent to drivers, according to WBTS. "I am sure many of you felt the same way I am feeling right now — outraged and disappointed. I know this may also cause a lot of uncertainty and anxiety for many of you too."

A substitute bus driver was dispatched to take students home following the incident, WBTS said.

More from WBTS:

Behind the bus, officers found a car that matched the description of the alleged attacker's vehicle and which they traced to the man the driver believed hit him, police said. The car was ticketed, but the man wasn't found at the address associated with the car.

The officers were also made aware of a police report filed the previous day from the same intersection, according to that report. In that incident, reported Monday at about the same time, a woman said her daughter told her she'd been pushed on a school bus by the driver. The driver said the girl had been standing next to him while the bus was in motion — something the students repeatedly do, despite his warnings — and that she'd fallen forward when he hit the brakes, forcing him to catch her.

The girl told officers called to the scene that she had abdominal pain, but the officers didn't see any bruising or redness and her mother didn't want her to be taken to the hospital for evaluation, according to a report on the incident.

Some parents on Friday morning didn't know about the incident, WBTS reported.

"If you have something to say, if you have something to do, you can stop the bus driver and talk to them about that," Julionne Berghold told the station. "It's not fair to attack them because he's here to work for you, and you're supposed to help him, and he's going to help you."

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