Ilem Mintor: Bus driver says he did not handle a situation with an autistic student correctly
6:59 PM, Oct 16, 2013
9:42 PM, Oct 16, 2013
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The Metro Mobility bus driver fired Tuesday says he is sorry for the way he handled a situation with an autistic 20 year old student.
"I know that it was not right. It was not right," former driver Ilem Mintor said.
Mintor says the 20 year old autistic student tried opening the door of the minibus on the way home from school in West Palm Beach, Monday.
He says he tied his hands with a seatbelt to try and make him stop.
"I didn't hit him. He doesn't have bruises. I was just strong. 'Don't do that' I told him," Mintor said.
Mintor says he understands why he was fired, but is upset because the minibus did not have child locks and because he says it was his first time on that route and he wasn't told about any of the passengers.
"I didn't hit him. I just talked strongly to him. (reporter) But surely you knew cursing at him was wrong? It is very wrong," Mintor said.
Mintor says he did not receive training about how to deal with situations like the one he says happened.
"(reporter) Did they ever tell you what you need to do with a special needs person in this type of situation? No. I never got that," Mintor said.
Mintor says he didn't receive the correct training and that he didn't know what to do.
He says he's sorry.
"Sometimes you do what you think is right and then you realize it is not right," Mintor said.
According to Metro Mobility's attorney, Mintor was trained and he spent nearly 80 hours in training behind the wheel.
The attorney said he is shocked to hear Mintor saying he was not trained.
The Palm Tran Director says routes do frequently change and that drives are not necessarily told about the passengers and their conditions.