BRANDON, Fla. (WFLA) – An irate mother was captured on cell phone video pulling in front of her daughter’s school bus, forcing the driver to allow the child to board.
RJ Toledo was jogging and witnessed the ordeal and captured the bizarre encounter. It happened on Lakewood Drive in Brandon at the intersection of Melodie Drive on Thursday morning.
“The bus is stopped there picking up the kids and then as it was about the leave, this car comes up from behind it, flying up, honking,” said Toledo. “And swerves into oncoming traffic and gets right in front of the bus.”
Toledo was concerned that incident would go unnoticed.
“It was disturbing to see a parent acting like that. And so that’s why I knew I needed to call you guys,” said Toledo. “And make sure this was reported.”
Other parents who were waiting for the bus on Tuesday afternoon also expressed concern.
Katie Delematta’s daughter was on the bus at the time.
“Your kid’s on the bus, you want them to get to school safe,” said Delematta. “You want them to be protected and then all of this stuff happens.”
8 On Your Side tracked the mother at the center of the incident down. She lives in a nearby apartment complex. Keena didn’t want to give her last name but claims the bus driver had closed the doors on her daughter before, and she’d had enough.
“This guy looked at me as I’m walking in the street, pulled up smiling and then pulled off. That upset me,” said Keena. “Not saying it’s OK to be irate, but it’s very unfair to us.”
She says she knows people will look at the video and make their own conclusions, but she says this has been an ongoing issue.
“It’s not just the mom pulling up in front of the bus, just trying,” said Keena. “This bus driver has been doing this for a long time.”
School district officials say their records indicate Keena contacted the transportation department once at the beginning of the year on an unrelated issue and a second time Tuesday after the bus stop incident.
District spokeswoman Tanya Arja issued a statement saying, “It is illegal to pass a stopped school bus that has its stop arm out. It was also extremely dangerous what this parent chose to do. The bus driver had to brake hard which put all the children on the bus at risk.”