- Associated Press - Saturday, February 27, 2016

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A former Johnston school bus driver who hit a 15-year-old special needs student last year could face up to three years behind bars when sentenced next month.

Robert Scarbrough was arrested in October, after police determined he had grabbed the boy’s coat, hit him in the face and pushed him to the floor. Police said the altercation, which was recorded on cellphone video, began when the student refused to heed his seating assignment and directed an inflammatory comment at the bus driver.

Scarbrough, 61, is scheduled to be sentenced March 31 in Polk County District Court, Des Moines television station KCCI reported on Saturday (https://bit.ly/1WQIbyR ). Scarbrough pleaded guilty this month to assault causing injury and child endangerment. The assault count is punishable by up to a year in jail, and the child endangerment charge carries a penalty of up to two years.

Cellphone video of the incident shows other students screaming at the driver and demanding he stop the assault. When Scarbrough stopped the bus at a drop-off site, some students spotted a sheriff deputy’s car, got off the bus and reported the assault to the deputy.

The assaulted student, who has a mental disability, was treated in an ambulance but not taken to a hospital.

School officials have said Scarbrough had worked for the district fewer than three months when the assault occurred. He underwent a background check and training to learn how to deal with inappropriate student behavior before being hired, officials said. No other complaints were lodged against Scarbrough.

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Information from: KCCI-TV, https://www.kcci.com


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