Monday, October 10, 2016
Negro School Bus Driver Linda Bell accused of striking white special needs child, 4, in Orland Park
Driver Linda Bell was overheard by a teacher telling the victim, "I'm sorry for hitting you," as the child was being helped off the bus at one of the district's schools, Orland Park police said in a press release. The name of the school was not released.
Bell, 63, of Alsip, was charged with one count of felony aggravated battery to a child, police said. She appeared in Cook County bond court over the weekend. Bail information was not immediately available Monday due to a court holiday.
According to police, the teacher helped the child off the bus and noticed the student was unusually upset and crying. The teacher also saw red marks on the child's cheek. The school principal and the district office were alerted to the incident before authorities were contacted, police said in the release.
Video provided by the bus company, Sunrise Southwest, showed Bell putting a shoe back on the child's foot, police said. At one point, Bell then appeared to raise her arm and strike the victim once in the face, police said. An audio recording also from inside the bus captured the sound of the impact of a strike and the victim beginning to cry, police said.
Police arrested Bell at her apartment on Friday.