Eileen Colvin, 63, of Niagara County says she likes children, but she really is questioning the behavior and anger of some of them after she said she was “knocked out cold” when she stepped in to try to help two girls who were being bullied by a 17-year-old student as the bus drove the students home after school on Wednesday.
The at-risk and troubled students on the bus from Niagara Falls were traveling on the Niagara Thruway being transported home from Baker Hall School at Baker Victory Services in Lackawanna.
The student charged in the attack was led off the bus in handcuffs by Buffalo police after the incident at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday and charged with harassment.
Jim Casion, Baker Victory Services chief executive officer, said Thursday that while he can’t discuss the specific student, he was informed Thursday morning that a bus monitor was hurt and the student in question was not in school Thursday.
“They do a good job working with them,” Colvin said of the school in Lackawanna. “The majority are good and decent kids. You can talk to them, but this kid was out of control,” she said of Wednesday’s incident.
According to Colvin, the student was new, and he had been riding the bus for only a week.
She said the incident started simply as some name calling between the youth and two girls on the bus who were between 11 and 13 years old.
“He was being rude and nasty,” Colvin said. “I was standing between them so he wouldn’t go after the girls, and [he] jumped up, before I even knew it he flew over the seat, and I caught him to try to pull him back.”
“He started yelling, ‘You don’t touch me. You don’t do that’ and started threatening me,” said Colvin.
She said he then threatened to spit in her face.
“I put my hand up and the next thing I know I was knocked out – cold,” Colvin said. She said she has been spit on before but never hit.
She said a good child – Victor Sanchez, also of Niagara Falls, – saved her. “I woke up and Victor was there guarding me. I want to make sure people know there are still some good kids, too. Without him on that bus I probably would have been in the hospital with some broken bones,” Colvin said.
The bus driver pulled off the Thruway and police were called. The youth was arrested at West Eagle and Delaware Avenue.
Colvin said Thursday she was still suffering from a lump on her head and possible concussion but that she will be back. “I do want to go back to my job. I actually like my job, but I want a safe environment. They might put this kid back on the bus,” she said.
Casion said the next step lies with the police and the school district the student comes from.
“If he’s committed a crime, he’s subject to whatever the criminal laws are,” added Casion.
According to Niagara Falls police reports, the youth was charged with second-degree assault in November 2012 for allegedly pulling out a folding knife and slashing another teenager.