Details of Gouverneur school bus assault emerge in court documents and video
Court documents shed new light into the alleged hate crime against a 10- year-old black girl on a school bus in Gouverneur.
The victim was verbally and physically assaulted by two white girls, a 10 and an 11 year-old. Sworn depositions by the victim and the Gouverneur police investigator offer details of how the incident unfolded. (Read the court documents below)
In an affidavit filed in Gouverneur Town Court, the 10 year-old victim recalls her attackers yelling racist slurs at her, punching her in the face, ripping her hair out of her head, and kicking her in her right knee.
The incident occurred on September 10.
The victim says she was called the n-word multiple times, as well as other insults. She also says she was only able to get off the bus after a boy stood in front of her two aggressors to allow her to step off. That same day, the victim was taken to the hospital by her mother, who also reported the incident to the police.
Gouverneur Police Sergeant Darren Fairbanks watched videotape surveillance from the school bus. In a sworn affidavit, Fairbanks says the tape shows two young girls harassing the victim while the school bus monitor, 28 year-old Tiffany Spicer, does not intervene.
Spicer is an employee of First Student, a company that trains and provides school bus monitors for different school districts around the country. According to Fairbanks, Spicer approached the aggressors while the attack was underway but did not attempt to break it up.
Instead, Spicer said, “You guys are worse than my kids.”
Fairbanks statement continues to say that the video then shows one of the attackers making a violent threat against the victim in front of Spicer, who again does not attempt to stop the attack, instead telling the aggressor to “take a chill pill.”
According to Fairbanks, Spicer then walks to the front of the bus and lets the verbal attack continue. The video then shows one of the attackers telling the victim “I like my people, but I don’t like your people.” After saying that, one of the attackers pulls the victim’s hair, causing her to fall backward, hitting her face the school bus window and then again on the back seat.
On Monday, the Gouverneur Police Department charged Tiffany Spicer, the school bus monitor, with three counts endangering the welfare of a child. First Student, the company that employs Spicer, said she's been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of an internal investigation.
The 10 and 11-year old attackers were charged with harassment and assault. One was also charged with a hate crime.