- Associated Press - Thursday, February 25, 2021

UNION, Mo. (AP) - An eastern Missouri school bus driver has been accused of using homemade restraints on a nonverbal child several times while driving him between home and school.

Terry Rice, 64, of St. Clair has been charged with eight misdemeanor counts of kidnapping and one misdemeanor count of fourth-degree assault. He was scheduled to appear in Franklin County court on March 3.

Rice, who drove for First Student, was also charged with child abuse, a felony, in Warren County.

He drove the child twice daily for 18 miles between the family’s home in rural Warren County and Autumn Hill, a school for children with disabilities in Union.

Court documents in the case say a bus aide told officials at Autumn Hill that she witnessed Rice use the homemade restraints on the child several times, The Washington Missourian reported.

Union police began investigating in June 2019 when the child’s mother reported the abuse.

The family has sued the bus company, Rice and a bus aide, alleging the child was abused more than 200 times between November 2018 to June 2019 including having his arm broken.

A call to the law firm representing Rice was not immediately returned on Thursday.

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