A Union County man was criminally charged Wednesday after authorities reviewed an elementary school student’s cellphone video of the parent yelling and cursing at a public school bus driver, authorities said.
Sheriff’s investigators said Jason Juaquin Garcia, 42, of Indian Trail boarded his daughter’s bus May 20 to confront the driver about how the driver spoke to his daughter. Another student videotaped the encounter, investigators said.
Union County Schools officials alerted the sheriff’s office, and deputies began an investigation.
Deputies arrested Garcia and charged him with willfully trespassing upon or impeding the progress of a school bus and disorderly conduct on a school bus. Both charges are misdemeanors under N.C. law.
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“There was some concern on the parent’s part that the driver had been rude or disrespectful to his daughter, but it didn’t warrant what he did,” sheriff’s spokesman Tony Underwood said.
Garcia appeared before a magistrate and was released on a written promise to appear in court June 14.
Garcia declined comment when the Observer reached him by phone Thursday.
Sheriff Eddie Cathey reminded parents to contact school officials or law enforcement officers if they have a school-related concern.
“Boarding a school bus to confront a bus driver is not the way to handle the situation,” Cathey said. “Children should not have to witness this kind of behavior from parents.”
A neighbor told WCNC-TV that parents previously complained to the school system about Garcia yelling at children for no reason.
The school system is deferring all public comment about the case to the sheriff’s office, schools spokeswoman Tahira Stalberte said.