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Bus driver arrested for choking student

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A school bus driver has been accused of strangulation after a fight with a Pike Township Schools student.

Leslie Sea, 53, was accused of placing her hands around a student’s throat resulting in bodily injury on Feb. 1, court documents say.

Police officers say the incident happened inside a Pike Township school bus near the Guion Road and 62nd Street intersection.

News 8 spoke to one student who was on the bus when the argument started. “Rebecca,” a middle schooler, said, “I was like right a few feet away from the fight, so I was pretty close because it was my stop, so I was trying to get off, but I couldn’t, but there was this other boy. He was trying to press the buttons, but the bus driver said that he shouldn’t because he might press something wrong.”

Court documents say Sea told police officers that the student attacked her. Sea said that he attempted to get off the wrong bus stop. She said the student pulled her hair and she defended herself.

Police officers say the student told them that it was taking too long to get home.

He also got upset that she called him “little boy” and that he was just trying to defend himself.

The middle schooler said, “It was like the first seat on the bus. He was pushed down against him and the bus driver was trying to hold him down and everything and they were like kind of wrestling like that.”

According to police, the student visibly had bruising, scratch marks, finger marks, and welts on his throat.

The middle schooler says some students already did not like the bus driver. “She does sometimes say bad words to us. I remember one time this one was the only time that it really like hurt me when she said that we were all retarded.”

The middle schooler’s mother said, “If I had heard about that I think I would have done something. How would you call my daughter retarded? So, that’s really bad. … The school can they should maybe quarterly they should be finding once in a while ask the students: How do you like your bus drivers?”

The middle schooler’s mother also says it’s important that parents get to know the bus drivers that are taking their kids home.

Pike Township Schools officials say the staff member was immediately placed on leave and that an investigation is underway. The officials also say they will continue to provide training and ongoing support for all staff members.

According to the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office, Sea will have a court hearing at 9 a.m. March 21.

The Marion County Sheriff’s Office was reaching out to the Pike Township Schools Police Department for permission to share Sea’s jail-booking photo, News 8 was told Tuesday.