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Boston School Bus Driver On Leave After Video Shows Man Being Dragged

BOSTON (CBS) – A Boston school bus driver is on paid administrative leave after a video was posted on Facebook showing a bus moving a short distance with a man hanging onto the front mirror.

The incident took place Thursday just before 5 p.m. on Woodbole Ave. in Mattapan.

The incident stemmed from a dispute over where the bus driver was supposed to stop to drop students off.

When the bus did not stop where parents felt it should, James "Mikey" Burdett, who was waiting to pick up his daughter, grabbed onto the mirror and began shouting "Stop the bus this is my daughter's stop."

The bus driver continued driving with Burdett swinging from the mirror.

"When I tried to talk to him he wouldn't open the door so I stood in front of the bus and put my hand out and said 'just listen I want my daughter that's it,'" Burdett says. "And I said it the first time he just pressed on the gas."

James Burdett
James "Mikey" Burdett (WBZ-TV)

Burdett says he had no choice but to hang on.

"So I braced myself, I said 'can I just please have my daughter' because his driver's window was open," Burdett says. "As soon as I said it again he then proceeded to go again and accelerate. Hit my leg and I was getting dragged pretty much on the window all the way down, hanging onto the mirror for dear life."

Jumping up with his feet near the bumper he says, to avoid getting run over. His daughter Janalyz was in his sight.

"She was screaming to the bus she was sitting behind the bus driver like 'please stop, that's my dad, that's my daddy,'" Burdett says.

The police report tells another story. The driver, who's been placed on paid leave, told officers the father "started punching on the glass on the door" and that he didn't stop because "he felt as though it was not a safe environment for the children on the bus and himself."

The bus driver showed police a list of the scheduled bus stops to review, confirming that he had been informed not to stop at the intersection. Instead, the bus driver says he was told to stop closer to Morton Street.

Boston Public Schools issued a statement on the incident and said the bus driver has been placed on paid administrative leave during an investigation.

The Boston Public Schools does not tolerate any kind of behavior that places people's lives in danger or compromises pubic safety. Transdev, the contractor that operates all BPS school buses, immediately removed the driver from service and placed him on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation. BPS is cooperating fully with the Boston Police Department, which responded to the incident and is currently investigating the matter.

Burdett went to the hospital with a sore leg.

A school official told WBZ-TV that several children were on the bus at the time of the incident. Councilors were brought in to speak to the students.

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