Raleigh mother arrested after no one shows up at school bus stop

Elaina Athans Image
Wednesday, August 24, 2016
Raleigh mom jailed after no one showed at school bus stop
Sarai Flores Lechuga

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- A Raleigh mother who police say didn't pick her kindergarten student from the bus stop is facing criminal charges.

Sarai Flores Lechuga is facing four counts of child abuse.

The 29-year-old mom was arrested Tuesday night at her home on Calumet Drive after a WCPSS school bus driver refused to let a kindergartener off the bus when mom never showed up.

District officials had tried for hours to get a hold of the parent and called police.

A Kindergartner was placed in police custody Tuesday after no one showed up at his bus stop.

"I have a child here who was on one of the buses; we can't find the parent," one WCPSS official explained to a 911 dispatcher. "I think this was the second or third time he was on the bus and nobody was there to get him."

WCPSS parents are required to be at the bus stop if their child in is pre-k, kindergarten, or first grade.

The district is praising the bus driver for stepping in and protecting the little boy.

"Our bus drivers care deeply about the children that they're charged with, so this bus driver did what any other bus driver would do in that situation, which is make sure that that child is safe," said WCPSS spokesperson Lisa Luten.

This school bus driver is being hailed for keeping the child's safety the top priority.

Police eventually found Lechuga and in the process discovered she left four of her children home alone in her southeast Raleigh apartment. An 8-year-old was in charge. The youngest child left alone was a 1-year-old baby.

In court Wednesday, Lechuga expressed concern about money. She asked this through a translator, "I would like to request an attorney that I do not have to pay."

Some of her children are now being cared for by family and others are in state custody.

The judge warned Lechuga that if she posted the $5,000 bond and was released from the Wake County Detention Center, she could not have any contact with her kids.

ABC11 has learned that in 2013, Lechuga was charged with neglect and accused of leaving her children home alone and failed to appear on that charge when she had to be in court.

Lechuga is from Mexico and a federal detainer has been placed on her.

She has two court dates scheduled for September.


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