A fight between a parent and a Denver Public Schools bus worker last week ended with one person arrested and several questions raised by at least one parent who said the district employee should have also been charged.
Qaedah Perron on Sunday posted a roughly three-minute clip on Facebook showing a tense moment on Denver Public School bus on Sept. 18 in the Park Hill neighborhood. The video shows several adults near the exit at the back of the bus. There is yelling and screaming as two men with bright safety vests appear to try to shut the exit door. Perron said the bus was transporting children from Denver Green School Northfield.
About two minutes into the video, one of the adults outside the doors climbs into the bus and begins to tussle with a man wearing a safety vest. At one point, the woman can be seen punching the man, and the man grabs her by the hair.
“One parent … would have wanted to get on that bus to help somebody,” Perron said. “It was very chaotic.”
A probable cause statement from Denver police said Brandi Martin, 32, was arrested. It also says the man in the video, who is not identified, “is over the age of 70” and is considered at-risk. He “sustained visible injuries to his face” and was taken to Denver Health. A Denver police spokesperson said in an email Martin is being held for investigation of third-degree assault of an at-risk adult, a felony.
The probable cause statement said officers were dispatched to the scene at 4:38 p.m., and that Martin attacked both the bus driver and the assistant and repeatedly struck one victim in the face with a closed fist. Perron confirmed Martin was the woman in the video who struck the man and was later arrested.
The bus driver and the assistant told police children on the bus had become unruly, prompting them to pull over at the 2900 block of N. Kearney St. Parents like Perron were notified of the situation by their children. She arrived on the scene after the bus had already parked, joining at least 15 other people, by her estimation.
It’s unclear why the man in the video was blocking the exit or why children were not being allowed to step outside. At least one child is seen jumping off the exit door.
Perron, who said she’s a former Denver Public School employee, said she sees herself as a child advocate. She criticized the police response time, the district and the bus workers — and her outraged is echoed by other parents on social media.
Denver Public Schools has not responded to multiple calls for comment. It’s unclear whether the two employees are facing any disciplinary action.