BENSALEM, Pennsylvania (WPVI) — A Philadelphia man is behind bars for allegedly riding a Bensalem Township School District bus that was taking students to Bensalem High School.
“I’m shocked,” said Teresa Caputo, Bensalem’s mother. “Very annoying.”
It happened around 6:45 a.m. on Friday. Police say 40-year-old Elliott Smith Jr. got on the bus at Brownsville Road and Weldon Avenue and sat alone.
Officials say a student wrote to his parents saying a stranger was on the bus. The parent then called the school district, and district officials immediately called 911.
Officers intercepted the bus at Galloway and Mechanicsville streets, which are at least four miles from the original bus stop.
“Especially how the world is today, things are today, it’s really scary,” Caputo said. “You don’t know what that person is going to do or what he could have done to our kids if he had a gun or something. It could have been worse.”
A parent, who asked not to be identified, said she received a brief email from the school on Friday morning. The message says an incident occurred on the bus that required a police response, but there are no safety concerns at this time.
“So you feel natural, you know how what really happened?” said the parent. “But I haven’t heard anything in detail.”
Smith is charged with illegally entering the school bus. Police said he had an active warrant for his arrest at the time of his arrest but would not specify for what.
The school district released a statement:
“Around 6:40 a.m. this morning, an adult male wearing a hooded sweatshirt, backpack and medical mask boarded a school bus bound for Bensalem High School. Thank you to our student who spoke to his family about the unwanted passenger Family notified our transportation team who called 911. Existing safety procedures and protocols have been enacted in conjunction with Bensalem Township Police.
Bensalem Township Police intercepted the bus and removed the subject. At no time was there any interaction between the students and the subject.
Communication with the BHS community and direct communication with the families of students on the bus will continue as part of this investigation.
As always, keeping our students and staff safe is our top priority.
As this is an active investigation, the district is unable to comment further at this time.”
Police said the suspect did not speak to or touch students on the bus. Smith did not fight back when he was taken into custody and is being held on a $25,000 bond. Police are investigating why Smith got on the bus.
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https://6abc.com/bensalem-high-school-man-on-bus-philadelphia-arrested-elliott-smith-jr/12418518/ Philadelphia man arrested, charged after found riding Bensalem school bus