School Bus Driver Pleads Guilty to Leaving Bus Unattended; Bus Then Struck Child

A school bus driver pleaded guilty Monday to reckless endangerment and other charges after he left his bus to use the restroom -- and the bus rolled down a hill and into a group of children.

Prince George's County Police said Arturo Harris left his school bus running with children inside, while another group of elementary school children stood in front of High Point High School in Beltsville on the morning of April 7.

The unattended bus drifted and struck a six-year-old; a bystander pulled the child out from underneath the bus. Four other students on the bus suffered minor injuries.

Harris, 61, pleaded guilty to one count of leaving an unattended child, three counts of reckless endangerment and one count of failing to curb the wheels of an unattended vehicle for the April 2014 incident.

Prosecutors have asked that he be sentenced to 30 days in jail and three years of supervised probation, part of a 15-year sentence that would be suspended.

"We are pleased that Mr. Harris has admitted guilt in this matter in which he exercised poor judgment by leaving those children alone on an unsecured bus," said Prince George's County State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks. "Thankfully the children on the bus were not harmed and the child who was struck sustained only minor injuries, however this sends a message that this type of negligent behavior will not be tolerated and certainly Mr. Harris should never be allowed to drive a school bus again."

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