Safety

Sex Offender Boards School Bus, is Arrested

Nicole Schlosser
Posted on March 5, 2019

ST. PAUL, Minn. — A registered sex offender on Thursday allegedly hid inside an empty school bus before kindergartners got back on board following a field trip, and was discovered soon after and arrested.
 
The bus was on the way back to Chelsea Heights Elementary School after a trip to the Walker Art Center, the Star Tribune reports. The suspect, identified by KSTP as Michael Charles Friedrichs, 61, was found to be sitting in the back of the bus. Maggie Zimmerman, a parent who was riding the bus as a chaperone, told the Star Tribune that a teacher saw the man pop his head up above one of the seats. She added that the bus driver told the man to sit at the front of the bus until they arrived at the school. Authorities said that the driver also called the police, according to the news source.

St. Paul Police Department officers arrested Friedrichs after finding out that he was a registered sex offender, Star Tribune reports.(As previously reported, Friedrichs had been arrested in 2011 for boarding a school bus without permission and allegedly performing a sex act. In 2004, he had been convicted of criminal sexual conduct.)

Friedrichs told officers that he had been at the art center and had gotten on the wrong bus. Jill Gebeke, principal of Chelsea Heights Elementary School, told students’ families in a letter that video shows Friedrichs boarding the bus after the driver exited, before picking up the students at the art center. The news source also reports that students were under the supervision of teachers and chaperones at all times. Gebeke also told parents in the letter that when a driver boards or exits a bus, they are required to walk through it to ensure it “is empty and ready for its next route.”

Kevin Burns, a spokesperson for St. Paul Public Schools, released a statement on the incident, which was obtained by KSTP. It said that the district is conducting its own investigation into the incident “to learn more about what happened and to strengthen our bus safety procedures. SPPS has also informed its school bus contractors about the incident to reinforce our required safety protocols.”

Related Topics: Minnesota

Nicole Schlosser Executive Editor
Comments ( 0 )
More Stories
Video

School Bus Songs: ‘Stop When the Arm is Out’

Michigan City (Ind.) Area Schools’ transportation department, also known as the “stop-arm singers,” recreate The Supremes’ famous “Stop in the Name of Love” — urging motorists to think twice before illegally passing a stopped school bus.

Heidi King’s last day as acting administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will be Aug. 31. Photo courtesy NHTSA
News

NHTSA Acting Administrator to Step Down

Heidi King’s last day as acting administrator of the regulatory agency will be Aug. 31. She will be replaced by James Owens, the U.S. DOT’s deputy general counsel.

Video

School Bus Songs: 'Washboard Road'

Jay Heilman, a bus driver with Pasco County (Fla.) Schools, is joined by other members of the district’s transportation staff as he details the trials and triumphs of pupil transportation in his own catchy version of Lil Nas X's “Old Town Road” featuring Billy Ray Cyrus.

File photo courtesy School Bus Safety Co.
Article

Shake-Ups Prompt a Closer Look at Safety

Although we all agree that the motoring public needs to be more cautious, bus drivers can also help mitigate the number of dangerous incidents by following safe and consistent loading and unloading practices.

When unloading, do not step off the bus before sticking out the hand-held stop sign and checking both directions alongside the bus for hazards.
Photo

PHOTOS: California Loading, Unloading Safety

Sabine Konrad, driver instructor for Visalia Unified School District, demonstrates some key steps designed to boost safety when crossing students in the loading and unloading process use by the state.

Be the First to Know

Get the latest news and most popular articles from SBF delivered straight to your inbox. Stay on top of the school bus industry and don't miss a thing!