Poplar Bluff school bus assault under investigation

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Investigators with the Missouri State Highway Patrol are investigating alleged assaults that occurred last week on a Poplar Bluff school bus.

At about 6:45 a.m. Jan. 26, Andy Cleaveland, school resource officer at Poplar Bluff High School, said, he was contacted by school security officers, as well as assistant principals Sheldon Tyler and Bill Burfield "in reference to alleged assaults which had occurred on a school bus.

"The alleged assaults occurred as the result of a student being expelled from the school bus for disorderly conduct."

Cleaveland said the incident escalated into a "physical confrontation in which a third party, who was not a participant in the altercation, was seriously injured."

Because of the participants involved in the alleged incidents, "I forwarded a request to (patrol) Col. James Keathley (asking him) to assign his members" of the Division of Drug and Crime Control to handle the investigation, said Chief Danny Whiteley.

The investigation, Whiteley said, is ongoing and is being conducted by Troop E's DDCC unit.

"Any further statements will be released by the Missouri State Highway Patrol," Whiteley said.

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