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Woman Says Driver Trapped Epileptic Son On The Bus As He Suffered A Seizure

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A Brooklyn mother is outraged, saying a bus driver trapped her epileptic son onboard a school bus because she didn't bring the proper identification.

She claims the driver refused to release her son, even when she showed her ID and her son began having a seizure.

As CBS2's Jessica Moore reported, cell phone video shows the anguished screams of Don Marie Birch, begging a Reliant Transportation company driver to let her 9-year-old epileptic son off the school bus.

"I'm so frustrated and so upset because my son could have died on that bus," she said.

The September 8 incident was Delon's first bus ride home of the school year from P.S. 141, a special needs school in Brooklyn.

His backpack was clearly marked with his condition.

Delon's epilepsy is so severe, he wears a device on his wrist that allows him to swipe it past a pacemaker on his chest to reduce the time of a seizure.

Birch said her son was too upset to remember how to swipe and she couldn't get inside the bus to remind him.

"I know the seizure already took over because he's not thinking about swiping his chest. He's swiping his lips. My son goes into the seizure and I'm screaming, please get my son off the bus, help him," she said.

"Finally someone gets an officer who calls EMS, and only after the officer demands the driver left the child off, the driver does and he's given to EMS and taken to the hospital<' attorney Sanford Rubenstein said.

The issue was Birch's ID, which the driver said she had to show to get her son, per DOE policy.

"The fact of the matter is, she showed her ID, the child identified her as the mother, the grandmother who was there was on an approved list to pick up the child showed her ID, and the driver still refused to release the child," Rubenstein said.

The DOE told CBS2:

"We have a detailed protocol in place to ensure students are safely picked up by an approved guardian. We are treating this incident with the utmost seriousness, it is being investigated, and we'll ensure it is swiftly addressed," they said.

Reliant Transportation Company refused to answer CBS2's questions, saying simply, "we have no comment."

Birch and her attorney said they plan to force the bus company to talk, when they get to court.

Birch said she plans to meet with the Brooklyn District Attorney later this week to pursue criminal charges against the bus driver.


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