WALHALLA, S.C. — Two men here were arrested last week for interfering with school bus operations in separate incidents, according to a press release from the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office.
The first incident was reported on April 30, when a deputy from the Uniform Patrol Division arrived at Seneca High School to speak with the school resource officer about an incident that occurred the previous day.
A school bus was stopped at an intersection in Seneca on the morning of April 29. A man told the bus driver not to let any of the students on the bus pick on his child. The driver informed the man that they wouldn’t. The man allegedly then made threats to harm those on the bus if his child was picked on.
Warrants were obtained as a result of the investigation on Roger McLane Stephens, 44. He was arrested last week and released the same day on a $1,000 personal recognizance bond.
The second incident occurred on the morning of May 8 as dispatchers received two phone calls concerning a man who got out of his vehicle, stopped a school bus near an intersection and was reportedly hitting it and beating on the windows.
The bus continued driving. However, the driver made a U-turn farther down the road and appeared to be chasing the bus again. The bus then turned onto another road, and officers were able to stop the vehicle in question.
The driver of the vehicle, Dennis Patrick Washer, 61, was given a uniform traffic ticket on the school bus charges and booked on a temporary custody order as further charges are pending in the case.
“The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office will not tolerate anyone who interferes with the day-to-day operations of bus drivers and students getting to and from school or who makes threats or attempts to put them in danger in any way,” Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw said. “If we are notified that someone is putting our children in danger by their actions, we will investigate and bring charges if those allegations are proven true and make arrests of those responsible.
“I commend the actions of the bus drivers in both situations for doing everything within their power to keep the students on their buses safe,” Crenshaw added. “They do a great job every day, and the Sheriff’s Office certainly thanks them for their help and cooperation in both situations.”