APTOS, Calif. — A school bus driver and his 3-year-old passenger escaped injury here when a motorist forced the bus off the road and then intentionally backed into it, police said.
The incident happened around 1:30 p.m. on Monday on a highway in Aptos, near Santa Cruz.
According to the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's office, the driver of a Toyota Corolla cut in front of a small school bus and suddenly slowed to about 15 mph. The bus driver responded quickly to avoid a collision, but then the Corolla drove next to the bus and tried to turn into it.
Again, the bus driver was able to narrowly avoid a collision, this time turning onto the breakdown lane. But then, police said, the Corolla driver pulled in front of the bus and deliberately backed into it.
The bus driver and the 3-year-old on board were not hurt. The Corolla driver left the scene.
Police conducted a follow-up investigation and identified Jeffery Bowie, 35, as the driver of the Corolla. On Thursday, deputies arrested him at his home.
Bowie is being charged with assault with a deadly weapon.
Local news station KSBW reported that when deputies talked to the school bus driver, he was perplexed as to what had enraged the Corolla driver. "It's possible that something is in his life that's causing him to have a huge amount of anger and he took it out on the bus," Deputy Ryan Kennedy told the news outlet.
Interestingly, the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's arrest log shows that Bowie was also apprehended on Tuesday — the day after the road rage episode — for a different incident. In that instance, he was arrested on a charge of alcohol-related disorderly conduct and was released.