Education

Radio station's school-bus stunt brings criminal charges

A radio-station personality who boarded a Southwest Middle School bus as part of an on-air prank this morning is being charged with causing a disturbance on a school bus, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools officials said this evening.

Jase Edward "Cubby" Squires, 26, has agreed to turn himself in Tuesday morning, said Bud Cesena, head of CMS law enforcement. A magistrate issued the midemeanor warrant after a CMS detective filed evidence on the stunt, done as part of 96.1 The Beat's “A.M. Mayhem” show.The bus driver who let Squires on the bus has been suspended with pay while CMS investigates, Superintendent Peter Gorman said today.

Squires, going by the radio name Cubby, went to a random bus stop around 8:30 a.m. today to see if he could get on. He chatted by cell phone with staff at the radio station, while asking parents where the bus was going.

“The point is not to make you look like a child molester,” an on-air personality said in a recording posted at the station's Web site. “The point is Cubby looks like a small child but is an adult.”

The studio staff joked about whether he'd be allowed on the bus or whether anyone would turn Cubby in: "Tell me how that police car rides when you're riding in the back," one told him.

When the bus arrived, the recording captures Cubby asking the female driver whether this is the right bus for Southwest, getting confirmation and boarding. He got off at the next stop, as the studio personalities howled with laughter and speculated on whether he was breaking any laws.

“You're 26 years old and you're on a bus with a bunch of 7-year-olds!” one exclaimed.

Gorman called the stunt "irresponsible," and questioned why parents at the stop didn't do more to stop Squires or turn him in. "At some point in time, parents have to bear responsibility."

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