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School Bus Fight: Cops Criticize Driver For Not Helping Beaten Boy

By Clyde Hughes   |   Tuesday, 06 Aug 2013 07:05 AM

A retired Florida school bus driver is facing criticism by police officials for not helping a 13-year-old passenger after three older boys beat him relentlessly. A local TV station called it a racial beating.

On a Pinellas County bus security video taken July 9, John Moody, 64, could be heard yelling for someone to help the boy being beaten and him calling a dispatcher for police intervention, reported WFLA-TV in Tampa, but Gulfport police said he could have done more.

"There was clearly an opportunity for him to intervene and/or check on the welfare of the child in this case and he didn't make any effort to do so in this case," Gulfport police chief Robert Vincent told WFLA-TV. "That's what we want to bring to the attention of the prosecutor."

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Authorities arrested Lloyd Khemradj, Julian McKnight, and Joshua Reddin, all 15, for felony aggravated battery. The three are black. Police said they believed the three jumped the 13-year-old who is white because he told school officials that someone tried to sell him drugs, according to BlackAmericaWeb.com. They boy was left with a broken arm and two black eyes, the website said.

The story started to gain broader attention after national media outlets like CNN and Fox News started to debate Moody's role.

"It is just disgusting," said Kimberly Guilfoyle, of Fox News' show "The Five." "There is no humanity left. Jump in, help the boy. I mean, my God, he could have been beaten to death."

Prosecutors told CNN on Monday that they currently have no ground to bring charges against Moody.

"It wasn't like he was looking out the window cleaning his fingernails or something like that," Chief assistant state attorney Bruce Bartlett said.

Moody's attorney, Frank McDermott, told CNN school district policy prevented his client from doing little more than what he did and he could have escalated the situation by physically trying to get involved.

McDermott said to CNN the focus should be placed on school administrators, who knew about the potential for violence after the 13-year-old reported drug activity on campus and did nothing.

"School officials let these two boys back on the bus . . . and Mr. Moody had no idea what had happened at the school," McDermott told CNN.

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