Ocean County bus driver was riding intoxicated with students on board
An Ocean County bus driver has been charged with several offenses including DWI after acting erratically and driving drunk leading to his arrest at Clara B. Worth Elementary School in Bayville on Thursday.
Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer and Berkeley Township Police Chief Karin DiMichele announced the arrest of Anthony Rodriguez, 64, of South Toms River who is charged with Endangering the Welfare of a Child; a crime of the second degree, Driving While Intoxicated, Refusing to Provide a Breath Sample, Driving While Intoxicated in a School Zone and Reckless Driving.
Berkeley Township Police were alerted by school staff around 2:30 pm of an incident involving a school bus driver.
Staff reported that a bus driver, who was currently at the Clara B. Worth Elementary School in Bayville was acting erratically.
School staff immediately investigated and confirmed that the bus driver was in fact acting in an unusual manner.
The bus was immediately taken off the route and approximately 30 children were transferred to another bus without incident.
Prosecutor Billhimer said Rodriguez was operating the bus with the children on board and drove about a mile with the students while he was drunk.
Berkeley Police were then promptly notified and responded and officers determined that Rodriguez, was under the influence of alcohol or an intoxicating substance.
As a result, Rodriguez was placed under arrest and transported to Berkeley Township Police Headquarters for processing.
Prosecutors say that he refused to submit to an Alcotest.
A warrant was obtained for a blood sample to determine Rodriguez’s blood alcohol content which will be tested and results are pending.
Rodriguez is currently lodged in the Ocean County Jail pending a detention hearing.
Prosecutor Billhimer and Chief DiMichele thank the administrators and staff at Clara B. Worth Elementary School for their attentiveness in responding quickly and immediately notifying the Police.
This is an ongoing investigation by the Berkeley Township Detective Bureau, Berkeley Township Traffic Safety Unit and the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office.
Prosecutor Billhimer and Chief DiMichele urge anyone with additional information to contact Officer Scott Rudolph or Detective Michael Tier of the Berkeley Township Police Department at 732-341-1132, extension 611 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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