The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

April 3, 2013

Ex-bus monitor arrested on new charge

By Denise Richardson
The Daily Star

---- — A former bus monitor accused of hitting a boy with a seat-belt buckle was arrested again Tuesday, Oneonta city police said.

Heather J. Ferris, 27, was charged with endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor, police said.

Ferris is accused of berating and pushing an 11-year-old boy on an Oneonta City School District bus in February, police said Tuesday. 

Ferris was charged Feb. 28 with second-degree attempted assault, a felony, and two counts on endangering the welfare of a child, police said. She also was fired from her job as a result of the incident, officials said.

Lt. Douglas Brenner said that after the Feb. 28 arrest, detectives continued the investigation and determined  through evidence, including five video recordings, that Ferris also shouted at an 11-year-old boy, pushed him into another child and used a seat-belt buckle to hit a seat. 

Ferris turned herself in at the police station Tuesday and was issued a ticket to appear in court April 23, the same day she is to answer charges involving the 5-year-old boy, Brenner said. 

In the earlier case, the 5-year-old wasn’t treated for any injuries, but he did have a bloody nose after a fight with another boy that police allege was instigated by Ferris.

A bus monitor’s responsibilities include overseeing pupil behavior, police said.

Ferris had been employed by the Bernie Bus Service Inc. since September 2011, according to Dave Hildebrand, terminal manager for Birnie, which has a contract to provide bus service to the district. Like all employees, Ferris underwent a full background check, he said after the Feb. 28 arrest, and  didn’t have any employment problems before the incidents in February. 

Attorney Joseph Ermeti is representing Ferris, Brenner said, and the investigation is closed.