Bus driver arrested after forcing teens to fight
On Thursday evening, May 9, 2013, Polk County Sheriff's Special Victims Unitdetectives arrested 29-year-old Patrice Sanders of 1133Enterprise Street in Lakeland, who drives a Polk County School bus and so far have charged her with: one count False Imprisonment;two counts Child Abuse; two counts Child Neglect; two countsContributing to the Delinquency of a Minor.
According to the affidavit, Sanders picked up kids from three Bartow schools -Gause Academy, Summerlin Academy, and Bartow High School - as part of hernormal duties, but when she heard two young females, a 13-year-old and a16-year-old, verbally arguing on the bus, she made the statement, "This isgoing to be handled today and they just need to fight."
Sanders then drove the school bus directly to her house located on EnterpriseDrive in Lakeland - bypassing any and all stops she was supposed to make tolet kids off the bus. She ordered all of the children to get off of the bus,and told the two females - a 13-year-old Hispanic female and a 16-year-oldblack female - that she would give them Vaseline or baby oil to put on their
faces so their faces wouldn't get scratched during the fight. The 13-year-oldtold Sanders that she did not want to fight. Sanders went inside her house totry to find Vaseline or baby oil and couldn't find any. The girls thenphysically fought in Sanders' front yard, as witnessed by Sanders and all ofthe other children who had gotten off of the bus. At least one childvideotaped the fight on a cell phone. Sanders did not try to stop the fight,but stood by and watched. The girls fought until they decided to quit.
Sanders then ordered all of the kids back onto the bus.
Once the bus was back in motion, the same two girls began physically fightingagain. Sanders pulled the bus over and watched them fight until they weredone. She did not try to stop the fight. When they were done, she told allof the kids on the bus, "What happens on the bus, stays on the bus," and thenproceeded to take them all to their bus stops.
That evening, the 13-year-old victim's mother reported the incident to PCSOand took her daughter to the hospital to be checked out. She did not have anyserious injuries.
That evening, detectives interviewed both the 13-year-old and the 16-year-old,and then arrested Sanders on the aforementioned charges. Additional chargesare pending further interviews with the other children who were on the bus.