Southeast Missouri school bus driver arrested on warrant while transporting team

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. -- A bus driver from the Poplar Bluff School District was arrested Friday afternoon in Illinois while driving varsity soccer team members to a game at Anna-Jonesboro Community High School.

Bobby Joe Tippit, 33, was in custody Saturday at the Tri-County Justice and Detention Center in Ullin, Ill., on a warrant for failure to appear. No bond had been set.

Tippit was arrested around 4 p.m. Friday after Pulaski County, Ill., sheriff's deputies stopped him for speeding on Interstate 57, just across the Missouri-Illinois state line, according to officials.

Poplar Bluff superintendent Chris Hon said the district has been told the bus was traveling at 75 mph. The speed limit on I-57 is 70 mph in Missouri and 65 mph in Illinois.

Tippit was arrested on a warrant from the mid-2000s for failure to appear on a charge of possession of drug paraphernalia, according to officials.

The warrant did not appear on the fingerprint background check done on all new school employees, Hon said. Tippit has worked for the Poplar Bluff since at least the last school year.

"This situation will be handled quickly, and this would be grounds for termination," Hon said, adding the district will investigate why the outstanding warrant did not appear on the background check.

In regard to speeding, Hon said it is not condoned and the district wants to maintain safe situations on all of its buses.

Assistant coach Aaron Bahm was on the bus and remained with students after Tippit's arrest, Hon said. Anna-Jonesboro arranged to transport the team to the game, which was a 1-1 tie. Poplar Bluff had a replacement driver pick the students up following the game.

An employee with the Pulaski County Sheriff's Department said Saturday the bus was traveling about 1 mph over the speed deputies allow before stopping a vehicle and that Tippit was cooperative and concerned about the students.

Pertinent address:

Poplar Bluff, MO

Jonesboro, IL

Map of pertinent addresses

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