Parents sue over alleged bus driver assault

By: Liz Tufts

A Barrington couple is suing the Rhode Island Department of Education after they say their autistic son was assaulted on a school bus by the driver.

13–year old AJ Jacobwitz is severely autistic. He needs help walking and has trouble speaking. His parents admit he's a handful at times, but they never imagined someone would put their hands on him.  “My son is a big kid, 200 pounds, and I don't think the aid could handle him on the bus, so the driver got involved, ” says Irwin Jacobwitz.

His dad says the incident happened on October 7th. AJ was riding on a first student bus with other disabled kids with two bus aids coming from a special needs school in Coventry. When AJ got off the bus he was covered in bruises.

A woman called police, after she says she witnessed the driver James Miller, assaulting AJ, Police are now investigating, but the Jacobwitz' say that's not enough.

They've hired a lawyer and have filed a lawsuit against the department of education, the bus company and the driver. Officials at RIDE wouldn't comment on camera, but tell us they are taking steps to ensure the safety of children on every bus.  They say the driver has since been taken off the job.