'Belligerent' School Bus Driver Physically Threatened EMTs: Chief

February 28, 2024 0 By JohnValbyNation

NORTH BELLPORT, NY — A school bus driver involved in a crash in North Bellport was arrested after he refused to allow Emergency Medical Technicians to evaluate children aboard the bus and was involved in an altercation on Wednesday morning, a Suffolk police spokeswoman said.

Fifth Precinct officers were called to the scene of a crash between a school bus and a sedan on Bellport Avenue and Head of the Neck Road at around 7:50 a.m., according to police.

In addition to the driver, there was an aide and five children aged 10 to 14 on the bus.

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The driver refused to allow medical personnel to evaluate the children aboard the bus and was then involved in an altercation with officers, police said.

Steven Edwards, 64, was charged with five counts of endangering the welfare of a child, two counts of obstruction of governmental administration, harassment, and resisting arrest, all misdemeanors.

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He was issued a Desk Appearance Ticket returnable to First District Court in Central Islip at a later date.

The name of the school district the children were from, as well as the bus company the driver worked for were also not immediately available.

Edwards, the driver of the sedan, and the five children were taken to local hospitals for treatment of minor injuries, police said.

The aide was not injured, according to police.

South Country Ambulance Chief Greg Miglino said that while his Emergency Medical Service crews were evaluating the driver, aide, the children, and the driver of the car, the bus driver was “directed to not interfere” with the crew and get out of the minibus by a senior member and “became belligerent and then started physically threatening” them.

The bus driver was then ordered to get out again and refused, so officers were summoned, according to Miglino.

He refused again, and “became belligerent and physical with the officer, Miglino said, adding, the subject was subsequently removed from the bus and remanded to the custody of the Suffolk County police.”

He would not speculate as to what caused the bus driver’s behavior.

No EMTs were injured in the incident.

Miglino noted that assaults against EMS workers have gone up by 137 percent.

“We’re seeing behavior from the civilian populace towards EMS workers, who for the most part are volunteers,” he said. “This is unacceptable behavior and will not be tolerated.”

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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