COLLETON COUNTY, S.C. (CBS Charlotte) – A South Carolina school bus driver has been accused of assaulting a 15-year-old boy for allegedly using the N-word.
Terris Devon Richard, 35, was arrested and charged with simple assault and battery on Oct. 27. Witnesses allege that Richard slammed the student’s head into a window on the bus, issued death threats to the student and his family, and vowed to “drag the victim into the school by his neck until he breaks his wind pipe” after the student used the N-word.
When Colleton County authorities responded to the incident, they saw the student — who is white – crying, found red marks around his neck, and his shirt stretched out, according to police reports. As a result of the incident, Richard, who is black, was released from his bus driver position with the district.
When reached by CBS Charlotte, Richard declined to comment on the incident.
“I don’t want to talk about it,” he said. “I haven’t been to court yet. I’m hanging up now.”
But Richard told WCSC that he reported the student several weeks earlier for a previous instance where the boy said the word around him, but nothing was done. Witnesses on the bus have indicated that a school employee was indeed riding on the bus at the time of alleged incident.
The brother of the victim told police that his brother reportedly asked Richard why he took offense to him saying the N-word, which prompted the driver to allegedly grab the student and slam his head into the bus window. According to the police report, the 15-year-old boy greeted one of his friends with, “What up, my [N-word]?”
Messages left by CBS Charlotte for Colleton County police and the Colleton County Independent School District were not immediately returned.