Boy left on bus chased by man - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Boy left on bus chased by man

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February 6, 2003

Douglas - Bus 999 sat in its normal parking spot Thursday, the commercial district along highway 158 in Douglas. That's where driver Sheila Spivey leaves it during breaks between her morning and afternoon runs. A quick peak thru the windows clearly shows there are no students on board at this time, but that wasn't the case on one frightning day for 10-year-old Blake Davis and his dad James.

"They came up here, parked bus, but didn't bother to see if bus was empty or not," James Davis said. "He woke up later in parking lot and walked over to the shopping center looking for the bus driver."

But when he couldn't find her, he headed down the highway for Wal-Mart, where his dad worked. It was a two mile walk, which quickly turned into a sprint, once police say Michael A. Watts started terrorizing the fourth grader.

"He chased him on foot from FNB Bank to Krystals, and threw a beer bottle at him," Davis said. 

Luckily for the Davis family, Krystals Manager Judy Lee saw what was happening and got Blake to safety in her car.

Police charged Watts with terroristic threats and acts, he's free on 11 thousand dollars bond. But what about the school bus driver and other drivers? Davis says he's not sure enough is being done.

"I don't want it to happen again to my child or anybody else's."

Coffee County Schools say it shouldn't. In a written statement, they said, "All bus drivers are trained to walk to the back of the bus to ensure that no child is left on board before exiting"

"A bus like this it would take 3 seconds of her time," Davis said. 

A mistake that the school system says taught all bus drivers a lesson.

Coffee County, like many other school systems statewide, is also taking steps to make sure bus drivers have to check all seats on the bus before they can turn off the ignition.. They are already in the process of outfitting their 76 busses with the alarm system.

posted at 6:25 p.m. by dave.d'marko@walb.com