Mom claims Albuquerque school bus driver hit son in face

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ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – An Albuquerque mom says a school bus driver took it too far while play-fighting with her 9-year-old son.

The mother claims that the driver punched her boy and now deputies are investigating.

“Makes me really worried and stressed out and I try to keep it together,” said Desiree Peña, mother of two boys.

Peña is trying to be strong for her little boy Juan Carlos, but she says what happened to her 9-year old on his bus ride home Monday is beyond upsetting.

“It’s not fair because I want him to be safe when he gets home,” said Peña.

Peña says her third-grader was hit by his bus driver while coming home from Mission Avenue Elementary in the North Valley.

“He says that he turned around and hit him,” said Peña.

The boy was being dropped off at his home near Edith and Osuna when Desiree got a call from him on his cell phone.

“And I could hear my son crying and saying, ‘Mama the bus driver just hit me twice in my mouth,'” said Peña.

She says her son had marks around his face.

“His right of his neck, his face was red, his ear was like red with veins, I could tell he had just been hit,” said Peña.

Peña says the driver even admitted to her that he hit her son, but gave her an excuse that they were just playing around.

“But I was just playing with him I was just I was just playing with him, that’s all I was doing,” said Peña.

Albuquerque Public Schools say the driver is employed by Lucero Bus Company. They didn’t return KRQE News 13’s call or email on Tuesday. Desiree says the company told her it was a non-issue though and that her son started it.

“To be told that by the bus company that it was brought upon himself, that’s not right at all,” said Pena.

APS says the driver was pulled off the route Tuesday per her complaint and the district’s response. The Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department is also investigating now. Desiree is hoping something is done for her kids.

“It’s not right,” said Peña.

APS says it’s also requested that the bus driver not pick up any of their kids anymore, however, that is ultimately a decision that will be up to the bus company.

Desiree says her son only had some neck pain from the incident, but that he did not need medical attention.

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