There’s new information in a NewsCenter 16 investigation about an alleged assault on a Rochester school bus. It involved a reportedly overworked and overwhelmed bus driver and his treatment of a six-year-old autistic child who rode on his route.
In surveillance video obtained exclusively by NewsCenter 16, driver Gary Enyart was recorded handling Reid Warner, an autistic first grader, in what many considered an aggressive manner.
Reid, who was suffering from sensory issues, wanted to cut the line and exit the bus. However, Enyart wouldn't allow him to do so.
Reid's parents say Enyart picked an unnecessary battle and add that had he been trained to work with autistic children, he would have better understood Reid’s mental state at that time.
In an email, Fulton County Prosecuting Attorney Rick Brown said his office has decided not to file assault charges against Enyart.
In a statement, Prosecutor Brown said, "Mr. Enyart, as a school bus driver, is in the position of a parent and would have available the defense of parental privilege in a battery case under these circumstances. I do not believe that the state could in any way overcome such a defense in this case... And in fact the case would likely be subject to dismissal upon request by the defendant if he was charged."
That decision isn’t sitting well with the Warner family who still wants justice to be served for their son.
"My question to them is, ‘what if this was your child? Would you turn the other cheek or would you want justice for him?’ I'm just trying to get my son back on track, he's upset and all of my children are upset about it. I asked Mr. Brown if he watched the same tape I did because I saw a little kid being manhandled on the school bus and I told him I wasn't going to take this lying down and I was going to move forward at whatever means necessary."
Since Prosecutor’s Brown’s decision was made public, the Warner’s have contacted the Indiana Attorney General’s Office. No word yet on if that office will take action in this case.
Although Rochester Superintendent Daniel Ronk wouldn't comment on Enyart’s personnel files, he did say he's committed to ensuring every bus driver goes through disability training, to prevent similar situations in the future.