BEDFORD, OH – Caught on tape: An irate driver boards a local school bus to confront the school bus driver, all while kids watch from their seats.
Now that school bus driver is being called a hero by the district due to her training and quick thinking in a crisis situation.
“It was my normal run. I usually have 34 kids and I was down to five,” said Joyce Kosturko, 67, a school bus driver in her eighth year with the Bedford City School District.
Kosturko had just stopped to let a student off the bus at the corner of Daisy and Palmetto Avenue Wednesday when she noticed a black car pull up alongside her.
“So I opened up my window to talk to him and the driver started screaming at me that I hit his car. I said,’No I didn’t. I didn’t feel anything, my kids did not say anything.’ Normally, if you do anything on a school bus, the kids know immediately when you did something,” said Kosturko.
School bus surveillance cameras were rolling as the man demanded Joyce get off the bus.
When she refused, he got on without her permission.
Joyce says the door was still open from the time she had let her last kid off the bus.
There were still five middle school students on board.
“So, I put my arm across the seat because I had kids in the back. And I didn’t want him back there with my kids. He got on anyway, took my arm, flipped it, and proceeded to sit down,” said Kosturko.
The video shows the man’s female passenger board the bus to confront Kosturko, as well.
“It was very frightening. But for reasons I kept my cool,” said Kosturko.
Kosturko immediately called her supervisor at the district bus garage.
“All of the Bedford City School District bus drivers are trained in non-violent crisis intervention. She handled the situation great,” said Patrick Carney, supervisor of transportation.
Bedford Police were called and eventually, the couple got off the bus.
Bedford Police issued summons Monday for Jeremy Larkins, 22, and Ariel Cole, 22, both of Bedford.
They are both charged with criminal trespassing and disorderly conduct.
“It’s just scary because you don’t know what will happen. With all the weapons that are on the street so today, you don’t know what this kid was thinking or what he was going to do. He was clearly angry,” said Carney.
Kosturko suffered a small scratch but she’s back on her bus.
She says all she could think about were the kids who witnessed the entire thing.
“I was just doing my job. My first priority is keeping the kids safe,” said Kosturko.
Both Larkins and Cole are scheduled to appear in court January 25th.