Florida parent struck school employee after son suspended from riding bus, deputies say
ORLANDO, Fla. - Video released by the Marion County Sheriff's Office is being used in a case against a parent accused of hitting a school employee.
Esdra Burges-Cruz, 50, of Ocala, is accused of striking that employee while onboard a school bus. According to an arrest report, Burges-Cruz became upset after his son was suspended from riding the school bus.
The alleged altercation is said to have happened when the bus was at a stop near Bahia and Water roads. According to the sheriff's office, the incident took place while there were multiple students on the bus, and it caused a delay in the bus continuing its route.
According to the arrest report, Burges-Cruz approached the bus and asked the driver if he could come onboard and when the driver told Burges-Cruz he was not allowed to board, Burges-Cruz told the driver to, "Shut the [expletive] up!" and entered the bus. Burges-Cruz then approached a bus aid and began yelling at him before striking the victim in the chest, according to the arrest report.
Burges-Cruz then, "made several conditional threats to the victim that if anything else happened to his son that the victim ‘would see what’s going to happen,'" the report read.
Esdra Burges-Cruz, 50, is charged with battery on a public or private education employee and burglary – each a felony – and disturbing the peace at a school function. [Credit: Marion Co. Sheriff's Office]
Deputies went to Burges-Cruz's home to question him about accusations that he boarded the bus without permission and struck an employee. He told the deputies he had permission to board the bus and denied hitting the employee. A day after the alleged incident, on May 3, school resource officers at Lake Weir Middle School were approached by a student who claimed to have recorded video of the altercation.
After the deputies reviewed the video, Burges-Cruz was located and arrested on probable cause for battery.
"We believe the arrest speaks loudly and will help the community better understand we expect adults to behave appropriately in the same way we expect our students to behave appropriately," the Marion County School District said in a statement sent to FOX 35 News.
Burges-Cruz was taken to the Marion County Jail without incident. He is charged with battery on a public or private education employee and burglary – each a felony – and disturbing the peace at a school function. His bond was set at $17,500.
According to the sheriff's office, Burges-Cruz has no prior conviction for battery.