Cops: Two West Orange High Students Assault, Rob Bus Driver

Two teenagers allegedly robbed and punched a bus driver while dropping students off from school.

Two West Orange High School students assaulted and robbed a bus driver while dropping students off from the West Orange High School last week, police said. 

According to Lt. Robert Williams, a bus driver for Hunterdon Education Services Commission picked up about 30 students from the West Orange High School on Wednesday at about 3:30 p.m.

The bus driver told police when he dropped off a few students on Main Street near Franklin Avenue, one of the teenagers reached onto the dashboard and grabbed the drivers Apple headphones.

The bus driver stood up and yelled at the teenager, the report stated, and the teenager pushed him. The bus driver grabbed the teenager's backpack to stop him and the youth punched the bus driver. The youth then ran off west on Llewellyn Avenue. 

According to the report, during the altercation, another teenager stole the bus driver's iPhone. 

Police described the teenagers who allegedly assaulted the bus driver as 16 to 18-year-old black youth, about 5-foot-6 with cropped black hair. 

Police didn't provide any description of the second teenager however their were two camera in the front of the bus. The incident is still under investigation. 
Rich C September 23, 2013 at 10:25 PM
I'm not going to pretend I'm shocked. Both students should be summarily ejected from the High School. Hopefully their names will be released some their parents can feel the shame they likely richly deserve.
Lori September 24, 2013 at 07:55 AM
What stupid and inconsiderate kids! There goes the ride to/from school. I hope they are both expelled from the W.O. school system. They will get caught because of the camera's and I'm sure some students on the bus have enough sense to not lie when they investigate further. I feel sorry for the bus driver. Bus driver's should not have to worry about their belongings or safety while they are transporting our children to and from school. I hope the parents realize how serious this is and not try to defend the teenagers. Spare the rod spoil the child.
Celeste September 24, 2013 at 08:29 AM
What a shame. Then again, they don't have any. At their age and careless behavior, it's only going to get worse.
dsg1963 September 24, 2013 at 09:21 AM
Expel them and then what? I don't know what the answer is but I'm almost certain that if we expel them, they will show up in another of our Police Blotters and we lose. Education is their only chance. On another note, why are the driver's headphones and iPhone so readily accessible when he is being tasked with the safe transport of our children? No, I'm NOT saying he deserved what happened but I think it could have been avoided if he put away his entertainment when not in use.
Lori September 24, 2013 at 09:31 AM
dsg1963, at the VERY LEAST they should be suspended! The one kid punched (assaulted) the bus driver. I have a child attending WOHS. Will she be next to be assaulted?? She already hates taking the school bus because of they way kids act on the bus (since late elementary). I'm glad they have the camera's on all busses. I tell my kids often to let me know if there are any problems so I can report it to the principal myself. My kids should not be afraid to take the bus and they have been in the past. FYI, iPhone + earbuds = Handsfree device (phone), not just entertainment.
Tom September 24, 2013 at 09:33 AM
Dsg They have already been educated that they are permitted to act with impunity and their teachers will then blame the victims. Another unbelievably embarrassing event occurs in West Orange Again
bbdoll September 24, 2013 at 10:26 AM
Hey , dsg1963 - In my humble opinion ,your opinion is what is wrong with this town. What the heck are you talking about ? You are excusing the kids behavior , which was violent I might add. I think the kid should go to jail ! How about that ! Why are you so worried about the "only chance" this kid has ? Would you feel the same way about "this kid" if he punched and robbed your kid ? The town is allowing and excusing this behavior from certain youths , for what reason , I don't know. The longer it continues, the worse it will get and the more violent it will become.
bbdoll September 24, 2013 at 10:34 AM
In addition dsg- the bus driver had every right to have "his items readily available " to HIM. They belong to him and he has every right to have them standing on the top of his head if he wants to . Clearly , he was not listening to music while driving the bus so I'm certain that "our children" were in good hands as far as that is concerned. I think the bus driver did a great thing by attempting to stop the little punk. You should feel bad for the guy who got punched in the face . This is who you should feel bad for.
Sacha Wilson September 24, 2013 at 10:45 AM
First off it's there not their, the latter of which would suggest a possessive. But other than that it makes me wonder if they really do have cameras on the bus. These kids are nuts and ruining West Orange! They should be expelled and sent to juvenile detention; end of story. Why would anyone do that to another person at all? Act like an animal and be treated like one
john anthony prignano September 24, 2013 at 11:44 AM
Twenty years ago, the school board eliminated aides from the regular school bus routes . The board claimed they simply didn't have the money for them. I strongly complained to the Superintendent Of course I got nowhere.The District has the D.A.R.E. program, a Character Curriculum, and a comprehensive Anti - Bullying and Tolerance curriculum. There is a District Anti - Bullying Coordinator, each school has an Anti - Bullying Committee. There is a Substance Abuse Coordinator, Dean{s} of Students, Guidance Counselors { grammar schools too }, School Psychologists, School Social Workers, Learning Specialists, coordinators and non - supervisory coordinators. Basic Skills and Resource Room teachers, coaches, consultants, ad infinitum, but not one person to monitor 40 children for a half hour or more. { No money} So how we doin'?
Tom G. September 24, 2013 at 12:07 PM
I don't believe these kids would have acted any differently had there been an aid on board the bus. Unless the bus aid was armed or had the physical training to battle two youths, I don't know why they could be expected to do. If the camera was working properly it should have captured all the evidence needed.
john anthony prignano September 24, 2013 at 12:33 PM
Tom G. Lori W. wrote that her daughter has hated taking the bus since late elementary because of the way kids act on the bus. That is NOT unusual. I asked the Superintendent ' Would you leave a classroom unattended for a half hour or more?" He said "No" I asked , "Is it ok for a teacher to sit with his or her back to the class for a full period?" He said"No" "Then why is it o k for a school bus with 35 or 40 children on it not to have a monitor" "They're not required by law, and we simply don't have the money for them." And remember, the SAFETY of the children is their number one priority. To protect our children, it is imperative that we give a nice raise to Dr. Donna Rando; 14 years in public education, ALL spent in West Orange, I believe she has always been an administrator, NOT National Board Certified, NOT highly Qualified, and every year she's been here, poorer results, and less and less instructional time. To further ensure student safety, it is imperative that we give B.A. Mark Kenny a generous raise so that he can retain his position as the highest compensated School Business Administrator in New Jersey. Would an aide have changed anything? I doubt if we'll ever know the answer to that question. What's the ONLY rule? GIVE YOUR FRIENDS MONEY, and the public be damned.
Lori September 24, 2013 at 03:03 PM
There was a time a year or two ago a bus driver was assaulted by a student on the bus. There's been numerous times (too many to count) that kids have misbehaved, sometimes physically. I have called to report things to both the principal as well as the director of the transportation department. One time I told the principal that my daughter will not be taking the bus anymore until the issue was resolved because she was afraid to say the least. Believe me, by the end of the school day several kids had been pulled out of classes and questioned and the offenders were suspended from the bus....breaking up all of the nonsense. These type of situations happen when 1 rotten apple is around a few over-ripe ones. Most kids don't cause problems if they don't have a buddy supporting their bad behavior. By all means, PARENTS, ask your kids how their bus rides are going! Be very involved in communicating to them about their commutes!! These bus drivers need our assistance being involved because they have no aides on the bus with them. Camera's are helpful, but they won't always stop bad kids from being bad. And, YES, they do have camera's on the busses. At any given time the principal can review what they capture.
dsg1963 September 24, 2013 at 03:49 PM
My apologies for giving most, if not all of you the wrong impression. I never meant to imply that this act of violence should go unpunished. BELIEVE ME, I would be the very FIRST to ensure that my child was held accountable for their actions. Because I do so at such low-level incidents is probably why you would not find my child involved in situations like these (said confidently with a father's ignorance). I am not going to argue with any one regarding why this all to often happens. My only position was that taking away any chance at increasing the boys' education would be adding another log to the fire that many believe is burning our town. They should be punished but I'm not sure there is a punishment that can be administered that will win their attention. We will start with a suspension and hope that their parents care enough about their children to carry the punishment to something more meaningful. Our best bet is to continue to educate and hope they become influenced by someone that can change their life. Someone to teach them that self-respect does not end or even begin at respecting oneself for you can never truly respect yourself if you do not first respect others. That last line, I was hesitant to include as it sounds contrived it is only because I tell it to the youth I coach every year. With a foot on a soap box I implore you to involve yourself with the youth of our town if you do not already do so. If we want something better from our community then we have to make something better of our community. With that I will step down off the soap box and slip back into oblivion.
Lori September 24, 2013 at 04:06 PM
dsg1963 I agree with your concern for the youth, but it all starts at home, WAY before they ever thought about being in high school. If the kid who assaulted the bus driver has a record of another assault, I would not question the kid being expelled. Otherwise, suspension would seem appropriate. In the cases of any kids who have been expelled, what type of programs are there for them to continue their education? Are there any?? As well as 'discipline' are there other things the parent(s)/guardian(s) can also do, for these kids?? Yes, find some programs to get them into so that they do have positive influences in their lives. Unfortunately, more commonly, a troubled kid, living in a troubled home will fall into a troubled adult life. It's rare that it turns out the other way. For a repeat assaulter, we should not risk the safety of our kids who want to get a good education, respect others and make a positive difference in the other peoples lives.
bbdoll September 24, 2013 at 04:27 PM
dsg1963 - my concern is that we are not addressing the real issue. Stealing something quickly ,off the dashboard of the vehicle ,is a dumb teenager/tweenager thing to do . If this is what happened , then having a suspend or not to suspend conversation is reasonable and appropriate. Concern for the kids well-being would also be appropriate. Is there trouble at home , school , the need for attention ...all these nice and good things the concerned citizens of West Orange always wonder about. HOWEVER , the minute the kid punched a grown man in the face , he lost his right to be treated as a child who might be misunderstood or in need of some positive attention and a good education. He assaulted another human being . As far as I'm concerned , he is entitled to nothing until he can prove he is worthy.
dsg1963 September 24, 2013 at 05:12 PM
bbdoll, I agree with you that, as the headphones were not in the ears of the driver, he/she was doing no wrong. I clearly stated that the driver's actions in no way warranted what had happened to him and I do feel bad for him.
dsg1963 September 24, 2013 at 05:28 PM
Lori, bbdoll and others, I agree that it all starts at home and that these kids should be punished severely. Lets imagine for a second that we expel these two or even incarcerate one of them for assault. Would you find it hard to imagine that these young men may soon be the ones at home teaching the lessons to their children that resulted in their own lack of character and respect. It is a vicious circle. I say this at the risk of imposing thought from some that I am some yellow-bellied liberal too interested in protecting the civil rights of those who have no respect for the rights of others. You would be grossly incorrect in that thought. Not a single person that has criticized my thoughts or denounced my ideas have expressed thoughts that I disagree with. Practically speaking, however, the current system doesn't work. So I go back to my original question: Expel them and then what?
bbdoll September 25, 2013 at 07:08 AM
Honestly , I'm not sure what else can be said. Every morning I read that someone is being held up at gun point. Their iphones, headphones and wallets are being lifted. They attack grown men and even young girls. Many times , the reports indicate that these criminals are between 18 and 25. In my opinion , these young men , carrying guns and taking what they want , began the same way the kid/kids on this bus did . Allowing for it while they are young has done nothing for this town. In fact , in my opinion , it has leveled this town. Now we have a bunch of young dumb semi adults running around with guns , because they can. ......It is a cycle , I totally agree.
Lori September 26, 2013 at 09:25 AM
Update: 1 teen expelled, the other enrolled in after-school, the bus driver FIRED! Original report on patch was inaccurate, no altercation! http://westorange.patch.com/groups/police-and-fire/p/oneill-bus-driver-fired-student-expelled-after-recent-bus-incident
GrandmaNj48 September 29, 2013 at 09:23 AM
Lori. Again. They spelled the kid, the other in after-school. My question does that solve the problem? Why they fired the driver? Just a thought: One more student that is on the street of West Orange, that will be committing more crimes or hanging out with drug dealers. Put him to serve the community, plenty of things that he can do and rehab, not dumping him on our STREETS and get more training to rob someone else. Jesus have mercy of us with these administrators


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