Arrests made in school bus incident
An older brother and the father of the 6-year-old boy who brought a loaded hand gun onto a city school bus this morning are in police custody and will likely be sent to jail, city police said at a news conference this afternoon. The boy, a Batavia elementary school student, has been suspended pending an investigation into the incident.
Juan Claudio, 40, of 108 Jackson St., Batavia, was charged with a felony count of fourth-degree possession of a weapon and endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor. David Truesdale, 19, of 28 S. Main St., Batavia, was charged with fourth-degree possession of a weapon and endangering the welfare of a child, both misdemeanor counts. Truesdale does not have a prior conviction, therefore his charge of possession is a misdemeanor, explained John Zola, public information officer with the city police. Claudio does have a prior conviction and a criminal history, therefore he was charged with a felony count of possession.
Claudio and Truesdale are accused of being "responsible for the weapon being at the home" of the boy, said Zola, although neither of the men live with the child. The 6-year-old, who is not being named, lives with his mother and his 7-year-old brother in the city of Batavia.
Police are still investigating the owner of the handgun, which is legally registered, though not by either Claudio or Truesdale.
The 6-year-old child brought the gun onto the school bus this morning. When the bus pulled up to the high school to drop off some of the older students on board, the child's 7-year-old brother notified the bus driver.
"The bus driver confronted the 6-year-old and he stated that he did have a gun," said Det. Schauf, in a previously released statement. "The boy pulled the gun out of his pocket and gave it to the bus driver."
No one was threatened by the child with the gun, which was never brandished, said Margaret Puzio, city school superintendent.
"We are very grateful to the bus driver, who was a hero in this situation," said Puzio. "The only thing other students would have seen is the student handing over the gun to the bus driver. But they didn't see it. It was in a sack."
The school's reaction was swift.
"We began by calling every parent of a child who was on the bus when the incident happened," she added. "Phone calls were completed before 8:30 in the morning to tell (the parents) exactly what you learned today, minutes after the arrest."
The Batavian will post video footage from the news conference this evening.
Mugshots: Juan Claudio (top right), David Truesdale (lower left)