Oklahoma City school bus driver arrested for allegedly trying to run over students


Wednesday, December 15th 2004, 5:07 am
By: News On 6


OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Police here arrested a school bus driver who allegedly tried to run over several students after he kicked them off the vehicle for causing a disturbance.

No one was hurt before Mark Wayne Barber, 34, was taken into custody Tuesday on complaints of assault with a deadly weapon and driving with a suspended license, Sgt. Isaac Goodman said.

Barber stopped the bus and made several gang members get off after they caused a disturbance, Goodman said. After a physical altercation, the driver allegedly tried running over the students about 4:15 p.m. in a southwest Oklahoma City field.

One of the students threw a bottle at the bus, smashing a driver's side window, police said. Officers stopped the bus on S.W. 22nd Street and arrested Barber.

Another Oklahoma City School District bus picked up the students about 5 p.m. and took them home.

Karla Sanchez, an eighth-grader, said the driver was yelling profanities at students after he kicked the gang members off the bus. The driver became more aggravated and tried to kick off other students.

"Everybody got off the bus and I don't know, he got crazy," Sanchez said.

District spokeswoman Sherry Fair said district employees were unaware Barber's driver's license had been suspended.

Barber has been a driver for five years, Fair said.

Employee background checks are conducted only before they are hired, but bus driver licenses are checked three times a year, Fair said.

Court records show Barber has been stopped by Oklahoma City police at least eight times, including speeding and illegal tag display.