Father Accused of Striking School Employee After His Son Was Suspended From Bus For Bad Behavior
He was angered that his son had been temporarily banned from riding.
A man in Ocala, Florida, has been accused of hitting a school employee after his son was suspended from the school bus for bad behavior. The alleged altercation—which police say happened after Esdra Burges-Cruz, 50, was angered that his son had been temporarily banned from riding—was filmed by one of the middle schoolers on the bus. Burges-Cruz was arrested the next day. Read on to see what happened.
A Confrontation and Shouted Threats
Marion County police say that on May 2, Burges-Cruz showed up at an Ocala bus stop, angry that his son was no longer allowed to ride. When told he couldn't get on the bus, Burges-Cruz told the driver to "Shut the [expletive] up!" and entered the bus. According to an arrest report, Burges-Cruz then approached a bus aide and began yelling at him before striking the victim in the chest.
Burges-Cruz then "made several conditional threats to the victim that if anything else happened to his son that the victim 'would see what's going to happen,'" the report said.
What the Video Showed
In the video, the angry man is seen repeating, "This is going to be the last time!" before striking the unidentified school aide in the chest and grabbing the lanyard around his neck, the police report said.
The video showed Burges-Cruz "taking an aggressive stance" toward the victim, standing "within a foot" of him while aggressively pointing his finger, the police report said.
Father Denies Accusations
Burges-Cruz told local station WESH that he didn't hit the school aide. He said he merely grabbed a piece of paper from him that showed the student had been suspended from the bus. When deputies visited the father's home on May 2, he denied touching the victim.
The next day, the student who filmed the heated encounter turned in the footage to an on-campus officer. After viewing the footage, deputies arrested Burges-Cruz on probable cause for battery.
What the School District Said
"We certainly don't allow our students to behave in a manner that this adult behaved—a bad example, certainly," Kevin Christian of Marion County Schools told WESH. "We dole out punishment for students who misbehave, and so obviously, the court system is involved now."
"Students always have their devices out. They're always recording—sometimes when they shouldn't be. When they are and we're able to get it, this is the result," he added. "We as a school district, we as a community, expect adults to behave the same as we expect students to behave and that's appropriate in the classroom and beyond the classroom."
Father Facing Felony Charges
Burges-Cruz was released on a $17,500 bond. He faces felony counts of battery on a public or private education employee, burglary, and disturbing the peace. Deputies told Fox 35 he had no prior history of battery. A court date has not yet been scheduled.