Woman Gets Probation for Beating and Biting Student on Bus

BARTOW, Fla. (AP) _ A 71-year-old central Florida woman will spend a year on probation after pleading guilty to child abuse charges for beating and biting a student on a Lakeland school bus.
 Hattie Yvonne Branch accepted the plea deal Tuesday rather than going to trial.

She faced a third-degree felony which carried a maximum five-year prison sentence.
 The Ledger of Lakeland (http://bit.ly/Q07bnU ) reports Branch was arrested last year after authorities reviewed video footage of the school bus incident.
 Reports indicate the teen tossed a 5-year-old boy over a bus seat and the child’s feet struck Branch.

That’s when authorities say Branch pulled the teen’s hair, hit him, bit his back twice and put him in a wresting hold.
 Branch told authorities she was defending herself because the teen had bullied and threatened her.