Former School Bus Driver Pleads Guilty To Abusing
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
May 17, 2004
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN--Former school bus driver Brian Duchow pleaded guilty Monday to child abuse one year after a tape recorder captured the sounds of him threatening to beat a 9-year-old boy.
"There was always a certainty in our minds that he was guilty," Rosemary Mutulo, whose son had been threatened, told reporters.
Rosemary and her husband Vince had been concerned about reports that Jacob, who has Down syndrome and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, was being disruptive on the school bus. They put a voice-activated audio tape recorder in his backpack so they could hear how he was misbehaving.
When Jacob got home on April 29, 2003 the parents listened to the tape and heard Duchow stopping the bus, then moving toward Jacob.
According to the parents, Duchow could then be heard slapping Jacob's clothing and threatening to break his arms and telling him, "I'm going to smack the living hell out of you."
Duchow later admitted that he had slapped Jacob.
Since the incident, the Mutulos have appeared on national news programs, telling their story and encouraging lawmakers to make video cameras mandatory in school buses that transport children with disabilities.
Duchow could get up to six years in prison and a $10,000 fine at a July 22 sentencing hearing. As part of a plea bargain, a disorderly conduct charge was thrown out in exchange for Duchow's guilty plea.