Father: School bus driver slapped 5-year-old

November 9, 2010 3:20:44 PM PST
The father of a kindergartner says a Wake County bus driver hit his son.The boy's father, Mark Tourscher, tells ABC11 Eyewitness News that his son was hit by his school bus driver on the way home from Wendell Elementary School Friday.

He says the boy's face was bright red that afternoon and still bruised three days later.

"Whole face was red, you could see where it's beet red," Tourscher said. "I asked what happened and he burst out crying saying the bus driver hit him."

Tourscher says he called Wendell Elementarty School, 911, and took pictures minutes later.

"It tore me up," he said. "I wanted to go get the bus driver, you know. I don't think there's any cause, none, no cause whatsoever for that. He's 5-years-old, you know. He has the mentality of a 2 to 3-year-old, that's part of his disability."

Tourscher says his son suffers from dyspraxia and admits Cory and another child had been throwing apple sauce back and forth on the bus Friday.

Cory says that's when the driver pulled the bus over and hit him.

"He turned around and slapped me on my face," Cory Tourscher said.

His father believes the bus driver should lose his job and face criminal charges.

"If I had done it, I would've lost my son," Tourscher said.

A Wake County schools spokesman said Tuesday that the driver has been suspended with pay pending the outcome of an internal investigation. He also said there was no camera on the bus.

The Wake County Sheriff's Office also says its investigation is also ongoing.

On Tuesday, the bus driver Ashkenaz Gill and his wife went to the Wake County Sheriff's Office Tuesday to tell his side of the story.

Rizwana Gill says her husband did not hit the boy on his bus Friday and doesn't deserve to lose his job.

"My husband did not slap that child I'm surprised that today my husband got suspended from his job and it's hard for us, because we have three children, my baby is 6-months-old. I can't believe it, because my husband could not hit a child."

Gill says her husband told her 5-year-old Cory Tourscher had been crawling around on the floor of the bus trying to tickle another child. He told him to stop and believes somehow the boy got hurt.

"He was sitting in his driver seat and he turned and told him to come up, maybe the child was scared or something or got hurt under the seat," she said. So far, no charges have been filed.

Tourscher maintains his son is telling the truth and has been told another child on the bus confirms the story.

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