LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The mother accused of assaulting a JCPS bus driver faced a judge Tuesday morning.
Court documents claim Chesica White, 30, boarded a JCPS bus and pulled Johnetta Anderson from her bus, dragging her down the steps by her ankles and hurting a child in the process. White's attorney says she was acting as a concerned parent addressing concerns that her 7-year-old child has being bullied on that bus for some time.
We recently sat down with one of White's attorneys and the attorney representing her 12-year-old daughter - who is also charged in the case.
"Ms. White wants to confront this thing head on she has a different side of the story as you can imagine," said Keith Kamenish, White's attorney. "One in which the bus driver overreacted to the situation and therefore escalated it to what happened on and off the bus."
Kamenish says White was addressing concerns her child was being bullied on that particular bus when she confronted Anderson at a bus stop at 24th and W. Broadway.
"It came to the point that she went to the bus station in order to find out which children were doing the bullying so that something could be done. Her 12-year-old child entered the bus. The bus driver grabbed the 12-year-old," Kamenish said.
The arrest warrant served says White and the 12-year-old hit Anderson in the head and face with their fists. The warrant states Anderson tried to get to her seat and close the door, but White and her daughter grabbed Anderson by her ankles and dragged her out of the bus.
Kamenish says his client wasn't looking for trouble.
"Ms. White did not go to the bus to get in a fight with the bus driver," Kamenish said. "It's when her 12-year-old child got on the bus and was physically confronted by the bus driver that escalated this thing."
JCPS admits there were concerns about behavioral problems on that particular bus. A security camera was installed on the bus Feb. 28. Kamenish says JCPS should have alerted parents to the camera installation.
"If the school board's going to do that, they can tell the parents," Kamenish said. "You'd at least get a response back, 'Hey this is what we're going to do to try to solve this thing.' Probably Ms. White would've never shown up."
Angela Fowler, the attorney representing the juvenile involved in the case, says the girl has a long road ahead of her.
"In addition to her juvenile case, she also has to deal with school and what the consequences are going to be there," Fowler said. "So she's got a long road ahead, but she'll get through it."
Fowler speculated about what the situation might be like for her client.
"For anyone in a situation like this, it's hard to kind of get past this, and we haven't talked about how she feels, but there may be guilt, there may be anger, there may be remorse. I can't talk for her," said Fowler.
Kamenish adds that White, who is charged with 19 counts of wanton endangerment, feels sorry about what happened and that a child got hurt in the process and the driver was injured.
A new court date of April 26 was set for a probable cause hearing.
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