Police: Surveillance footage shows bus monitor punching autistic child, slamming his head into window

By WKTV News

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - A school bus monitor is facing charges after claims that she punched and slapped the child, slamming his head into a window.

Utica Police said they received a report Wednesday from a woman who said that her son was riding the school bus when he was struck by the bus monitor.

The officer interviewed the child, who is an 11 year old Autistic child. The child told the officer that he was on the bus when it stopped in the parking lot of Proctor High School to pick up children.

The child said that he stood up to stretch his legs when the bus monitor, Kendra Owens, 38, of Utica, told him to sit down. The child and Owens then began to argue over the child sitting.

Police said Owens then stood up and came to the front of the bus where the child was. They argued some more and the monitor punched and slapped him in the face and slammed his head against the closed window, police said. According to authorities, the child sustained scratches and was very upset.

The officer met with Birnie Bus personnel and they provided him with the security footage from the bus, which supported the child's claim.

Following that, Owens was charged with harassment and endangering the welfare of a child.

Birnie Bus officials released the following statement:

"We apologize to the student and the family for this unfortunate situation.

Once Birnie Bus Service was notified of this situation, we contacted the school district and have cooperated with the Utica police in there investigation.

We provided Utica police with the bus video.

This is not something Birnie Bus Service would ever condone. The monitor had been employed for about a year and has passed all background checks and State Education requirements.

We have never received a complaint or had any issues with this monitor.

We will continue to cooperate with this investigation.

The bus monitor has been terminated from our employment."

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