A Pasco County bus assistant has been accused of repeatedly hitting a 10-year-old special needs student.
57-year-old James Lambert has been assisting children on Pasco County Schools' special needs buses since 1998. On Tuesday, the boy told his mother, who called the district.
There is surveillance video on the bus that reportedly shows the entire incident.
"He slaps the kid in the face, more than once and then child hits him back," said Pasco County School Communications director Linda Cobbe.
"He is swearing; the little boy is," describes Cobbe after she watched the video. "I think that the swearing is a part of his disability. He said the 's' word and the 'f' word in a row and that is when he reaches out and slaps him."
The Pasco County Sheriff's Office has charged Lambert with two felony counts of child abuse. According to deputies the child was restrained in a harness, which means he did not pose any threat to anyone on the smaller school bus.
"To find out this man went to the back of the bus and committed this crime is appalling," said Pasco County Sheriff's Office Public Information Officer Melanie Snow. "It's appalling to the sheriff's office; it's appalling to me as a mother and I am sure to many other parents out there."
The boy attends Moon Lake Elementary School.
The district plans to terminate Lambert from their school system.