Police are seeking a high school student known by the street name “Bam-Bam” after four men with bandannas over their faces tried to attack a school bus carrying dozens of students in north Charlotte on Monday.
No one was injured, but the student kicked in the glass bus door and threatened to kill the driver, said Officer Kay Rivera, the resource officer for Martin Middle School. The driver maneuvered the bus around an SUV that was blocking it and returned to Martin, she said.
Rivera said Monday’s attack appears to be in retaliation for a conflict Friday between unruly students and the driver. Police are still trying to identify three other young men who took part, pulling a white Yukon SUV in front of the bus and surrounding it. They were wearing red bandannas and white T-shirts, she said, adding that she positive they’re related to two of the students making trouble Friday.
Rivera said in 23 years as a police officer she’s never seen bus rowdiness get so far out of control. The student, who will face numerous charges, is not being identified because he is a juvenile, Rivera said. She said he is a former Martin student who is still in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.
Rivera said the trouble started as Bus 112 took students home on Friday. Most were misbehaving, getting out of seats and “screaming, yelling, cursing – name it, they were doing it,” she said. The 23-year-old male driver pulled over and went to the back of the bus to try to regain control, Rivera said.
That evening, she said, several female students complained to Martin administrators that the driver had shoved them and forced them off the bus. That bus does not have a video camera, but a student used a phone to record the incident, proving the driver did not do that, Rivera said.
On Monday, she said, the same driver made the trip home with an assistant principal on board because of the trouble. Around 4:40 p.m. in the 2700 block of Dalecrest Drive, off North Graham Street, the SUV blocked the bus, forcing it to stop, according to the police report.
The four men surrounded the bus, and the one known as Bam-Bam yelled, “Is that him?” and threatened to kill the driver, Rivera said.
“Luckily, he had the common sense not to open the door,” she said.
The bus returned to school, where another driver finished the route with police guarding the bus stops, Rivera said. The original driver has been moved to another route, she said.
Rivera said parents of about 30 students will be summoned to school Wednesday to view the student’s cell-phone video so they can see the driver did not mistreat students. She attributed the attack to “family taking the law into their own hands.”
CMS and Charlotte-Mecklenburg police are continuing to investigate. The report says there was about $100 in damage to the bus. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers, 704-334-1600.