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School bus fight: Driver won't face negligence charges

School bus fight: Three 15-year-old boys, who each face aggravated battery charges, were involved in a brutal school bus fight that left a 13-year-old with a broken arm. Authorities initially sought a child neglect charge against the school bus driver for not stopping the fight.

By Associated Press / August 6, 2013



Gulfport, Fla.

A Pinellas County school bus driver won't face charges for a fight that left a 13-year-old with a broken arm.

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The Tampa Bay Times reports 64-year-old John Moody was driving the bus from Lealman Intermediate School summer classes on July 9 when the fight broke out.

Gulfport police arrested three 15-year-old boys, who each face aggravated battery charges. One teen is also charged with taking cash from the younger boy. Police say the boy was kicked and stomped about 23 times.

Authorities initially sought a child neglect charge against the driver. He stopped the bus and called for help. But the teens were gone when police arrived.

Moody's attorney, Frank McDermott, told The Tampa Bay Times thaat his client stopped the bus and radioed for help, per school district policy. He said a charge of child neglect never should have been considered.

"It was preposterous," McDermott said. "I don't think law enforcement should ever tell citizens to intervene in a violent attack. John did what he was trained to do."

Moody told CNN that he radioed a dispatcher for help: "You gotta get somebody here quick, quick, quick, quick," he says. "They're about to beat this boy to death over here."

"Please get somebody here quick. There's still doing it," he adds. "There's nothing I can do."

The victim told police he had reported the teens to school officials earlier that day after they tried to sell him drugs.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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