Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

St. Petersburg police: student attacked school bus driver

ST. PETERSBURG — A Pinellas County school bus driver was attacked on her bus by a 17-year-old student Wednesday after a dispute over a cell phone, police said.

Student Dorian Williams repeatedly slammed the driver's head against the bus dashboard and the steering wheel, then ripped the microphone out when she tried to call the school district for help, police said.

Williams then ran away, but he didn't go far. Firefighters who arrived to help the driver saw Williams and detained him until police showed up.

Williams denied assaulting the driver, telling police he only pushed her.

It all unfolded just before 4 p.m. on the bus ride home Wednesday from Pinellas Secondary School in Pinellas Park.

Bus driver Zaundra Renee Goner, 47, had pulled up to the bus stop along Green Way S to let some students off. One of the students gave her a cell phone that had been found on the bus.

The last student in line was Williams. He told the driver it was his phone and demanded it back, police said.

"He said he was not going to leave his phone," said police spokesman George Kajtsa.

But Goner told the student she had to make sure it was his phone. She told him he could get it from school the next morning if he could prove that it belonged to him, police said.

Williams then attacked her, police said. He grabbed the woman's head and bashed it back and forth against the dashboard and the steering wheel, police said. She tried to call school dispatch for help, officers reported, but the teenager ripped the microphone from its cord.

Goner somehow managed to get off the bus and asked a passerby to call for help. Williams then ran away. But when St. Petersburg Fire Rescue paramedics arrived to treat the injured driver, she spotted Williams still hanging around the area.

The firefighters approached Williams and detained him until police officers arrived.

Williams of 2446 DeSoto Way S was arrested on felony charges of battery on a School Board employee and tampering with a witness. He was taken to the Juvenile Assessment Center.

According to state records, his first arrest was at age 14, when he was accused of disorderly conduct. He also has been arrested on charges of trespassing on school grounds, loitering and prowling, and grand theft auto. Records show that all those charges were later dropped.

Williams is a sophomore at Pinellas Secondary School, an alternative school for students in grades six through 12 who have had disciplinary problems at other county schools.

Goner was not seriously injured, according to Pinellas County school district spokeswoman Andrea Zahn.

Goner has not yet returned to work, however, and has asked to be taken off the Pinellas Secondary route. She could not be reached for comment Friday.

Police said they didn't know whether, in fact, the cell phone belonged to Williams.

Jamal Thalji can be reached at thalji@sptimes.com or (727) 893-8472.

St. Petersburg police: student attacked school bus driver 03/19/10 [Last modified: Friday, March 19, 2010 10:52pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Jones: Bucs need success to get national respect

    Bucs

    Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones offers up his Two Cents on the world of sports.

    No respect

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter walks the field during the second day of mandatory minicamp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, June 14, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  2. Hopes fade after landslide destroys Chinese village (w/video)

    World

    Crews searching through the night in the rubble left by a landslide that buried a mountain village under tons of soil and rocks in southwestern China found 15 bodies, but more than 110 more people remained missing.

    Vehicles and people line a road leading to the site of a landslide in Xinmo village in Mao County on Saturday in southwestern China’s Sichuan Province. More than 100 people remained missing after the village was buried under tons of rocks and soil.
  3. Rookie Jake Faria dissatisfied with performance in Rays' loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The rookie pitcher walked to his locker Saturday after tossing the fourth quality start in as many tries to begin his career. He held the potent Orioles bats to three runs and for six innings gave his team a chance to win.

    Orioles third baseman Manny Machado tags out the Rays’ Mallex Smith at third after a rundown in the first inning.
  4. Thousands converge in two St. Pete locations celebrating LGBT rights

    Human Interest

    ST. PETERSBURG — Tom Rockhill didn't know what to expect Saturday, but by noon people were knocking on the door of his bar Right Around the Corner in Grand Central.

    (From left to right) Emma Chalut 18, gets a rainbow sticker on her cheek from her sister Ellie, 15 both of Jacksonville before the annual St. Pete Pride parade in downtown St. Petersburg on Saturday. This year the route was changed from the Grand Central and Kenwood area to Bayshore Drive.
[EVE EDELHEIT   |   Times]
  5. Retired Florida Supreme Court Justice Parker Lee McDonald dies

    TALLAHASSEE — A former Florida Supreme Court justice, who wrote a decision that prevented lawyers from excluding jurors because of their race, has died.

    Former Florida Supreme Court Justice Parker Lee McDonald died Saturday, the court said in a statement. He was 93.