Family seeks video after son was tied down on bus

Police say a student with special needs was repeatedly tied down on his school bus so forcefully it left him with injuries.

The driver and monitor were fired and indicted on criminal charges, but the family is frustrated because they believe important information is being withheld.

The student’s parents say they can't get information about what's happening with the case and don’t know if plea bargains are in the works or not.

They’re also questioning why Dallas County Schools won’t let them see video from the school bus.

Angie and Tom Moses beam when talking about their son, Hunter.

“Never meets a stranger,” said Tom.

“Never meets a stranger,” said Angie. “He's diagnosed with severe mental retardation and autistic tendencies.”

But last May, while being taken to his Carrollton ISD school, something happened to the 18-year-old, who is non-verbal.

“His teacher had gone to get him off of the bus and noticed that his arms had been tied down; both of his arms had been tied down with the seatbelt,” said Angie.

Dallas County Schools bus driver Richard Thurman and monitor Marilyn Graydon were arrested in May, and were since indicted on injury to child. Both posted bond.

“How many times do you know from the detective that it happened?” said FOX 4’s Shaun Rabb.

“Three,” said Angie.

That's because the detective has seen what Angie and Tom haven't -- video from cameras on the bus during the week of the incident.

In the arrest affidavit, the detective wrote, "I observed the suspect, Richard Thurman, wrap the seat belts around victim’s wrists keeping him from lifting his arms. While restrained, the victim sustained visible bruises and scratches on both of his wrists.”

 

Photos of Hunter, showing bruises and scratches, were taken last May on the day of the incident by Hunter’s teachers.

The affidavit says the bus monitor, Marilyn Graydon, “knowingly observed Thurman restrain the victim with seatbelts. Graydon also knowingly observed the restraints cause the victim pain and physical injury.”

Thurman told teachers and detectives that he tied Hunter down because Hunter kept touching Graydon, and to keep him from hurting himself.

“We are talking about a child who cannot communicate, that would not hurt a fly, to strap him down,” said Angie. “I just don’t know why, why anyone would do this.”

Further frustrating Angie and Tom, Dallas County Schools is not allowing them to see any video from the bus, so they don't know how many times Hunter was tied down.

“We want to know, what did Hunter go through? Because he can’t tell us,” said Tom. “I mean, he's non-verbal and we don’t know.”

Dallas County Schools did review the video and immediately terminated, arrested and charged the driver and monitor.

In an email, DCS officials said they cannot release the video or let the family see it because other students are on the bus, and that, they say, is in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

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