Bus driver files charges against Riverview mom who boarded bus

sbowman@beaufortgazette.comFebruary 26, 2014 

A school bus driver who was not charged after an incident that left visible marks on a Riverview Charter School student is now pressing charges of her own, accusing the student's mother of threatening her.

Tara Johnson turned herself in Wednesday to the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office. She is charged of interfering with the operation of a school bus. Johnson was released later in the morning on her own recognizance.

According to the Sheriff's Office report, Johnson boarded a school bus Feb. 6 and approached the driver, Ada Brown. Johnson was upset about an incident the previous day involving Brown and Johnson's son.

Brown told Johnson she needed to get off the bus, and Johnson began yelling and said she would not be told what to do, according to the report. Johnson then told Brown that if she touches her child again she will kill her, Brown said in the report.

The previous day, Feb. 5, Brown picked up Johnson's 6-year-old kindergarten student, carried him and placed him in a seat when the boy said he was not supposed to ride the bus home that day. A Port Royal police officer found red marks under the student's arms, the police report said.

Port Royal police determined that Brown did not intentionally harm the student and that no crime was committed.

Attempts to reach Brown were not successful. Her employer, Durham Bus Services, would not say if Brown is still a company employee or whether she has been moved to a different route.

Durham also would not say why Brown was on the same route with the student Feb. 6.

The bus company filed a report with the Sheriff's Office earlier this month after Johnson boarded the bus. But Durham general manager Gary Bradley had said the company did not want to press charges.

Several attempts to reach Johnson and her attorney, J. Olin McDougall of the McDougall Law Firm in Beaufort, were unsuccessful.

Follow reporter Sarah Bowman on Twitter at twitter.com/IPBG_Sarah.

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