5-year-old boy left unattended on bus in Boynton Beach

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. - A 5-year-old boy was left unattended for about an hour on a Boynton Beach city recreation bus Friday, sparking an investigation.

A police report says a city employee found the boy walking down the center aisle of the bus. The child was left with no supervision from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. 

The child was supposed to be dropped off at the Ezell Hester Center on Seacrest Boulevard.

Police said the child was in good condition and had been sleeping on the bus, which was parked at the Boynton Art Center.

 

An assistant to the bus driver told police he did not have an accurate list of all the children that were supposed to be on the bus.  The assistant said the Ezell Hester Center is the last stop for the bus, and he checked every seat and didn't see any children.

The bus driver also told police that he did a sweep of the vehicle twice after arriving at the art center and did not see a child before he left.

According to a written statement from Boynton Beach Communication Manager Eleanor Krusell, police have already conducted and concluded a criminal investigation. However, the incident remains an active administrative investigation. 

“The city is committed to the highest standards of conduct on the part of our employees.  We are concerned about this incident and committed to ensuring our policies and performance reflect the high standards expected by the community we serve.  We remain in contact with the child’s guardian and are pleased that this young man remains active in our recreation programs,” City Manager Lori LaVerriere said.

The Boynton Beach police report said they did not find probable cause to charge anyone in the case and found it to be an isolated incident.  However, police contacted the Florida Department of Children and Families, who will be conducting their own investigation.

Because it is a licensed facility, on Thursday, WPTV NewsChannel spotted Department of Health workers checking out the bus to make sure it had proper safety equipment. 

The boy's father tells WPTV Newschannel 5 he is upset by the incident but is grateful for the after -care program. We also reached the bus driver's assistant who said he cannot comment. 

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