MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Fridley school bus driver faces an assault charge after he allegedly attacked a 12-year-old student Tuesday morning.
Paul Martin, 72, of Ham Lake faces one misdemeanor count of fifth-degree assault, according to Anoka County court documents.
The complaint says the incident occurred in the Fridley High School parking lot after the bus driver, identified as Martin, dropped students off around 7:45 a.m. Police responded to the scene after a school official reported the assault.
The school camera system recorded the incident, the complaint said. In the video, Martin can be seen running off the bus, pushing a student and then tackling the 12-year-old student from behind. Both Martin and the student fell to the ground. Martin was on top of the student briefly before getting off the ground, according to the complaint.
In an interview with police, Martin allegedly admitted that he “lost it.” After responding to the scene, police officers arrested Martin and took him to the Anoka County Jail.
A Fridley Public Schools representative released a statement to WCCO, saying no student should experience “this type of senseless act.” According to the school, the bus driver is not an employee of the school and works for a contracted bus company. The school has terminated the driver’s services.
Here’s the full statement:
First and foremost, our thoughts are with our student, whose well-being is our top concern. No student should ever have to experience this type of senseless act. The safety of all our students is a high priority for us, and we are outraged and saddened that this unfortunate incident happened to one of our students.
The bus driver works for a contracted bus company and is not a Fridley Public Schools employee. We acted swiftly to terminate the driver’s services and cooperated fully with the Fridley Police Department who are investigating this incident. We cannot provide any additional information due to student privacy laws, and an ongoing active police investigation.
If convicted, Martin could face up to 90 days in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.