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Colorado school bus aide caught on camera striking nonverbal autistic boy: police

Families of three Colorado special needs children held a press conference Tuesday to draw attention to alleged abuse of their children by a school bus aide employed by Littleton Public Schools, and video of one incident has gone public.

One of the accusations came from the parents of a 10-year-old, nonverbal autistic boy who can be seen on a video being punched, hit and stomped on by a suspect identified as former bus aide Kiarra Jones.

“Due to their inability to communicate verbally, the victims couldn’t disclose the abuse they endured,” law firm Rathod Mohamedbhai LLC, which represents the families, said in a press release.

A police affidavit shared by the law firm says Jones is 29 years old, and that the alleged assaults happened in February and March.


Colorado bus aide seen during alleged assault

Kiarra Jones, 29, is accused of assaulting and injuring special needs students while working as a bus aide in Colorado.  (Video obtained by FOX31 Denver )

The affidavit, filed April 4, says Jones faces charges of crimes against an at-risk adult or juvenile third-degree assault and crimes against an at-risk adult or juvenile.

Jessica Vestal, the mother of the 10-year-old boy, said her son, who cannot speak, first came home from school in suburban Denver with bruises all over his body in January. Other injuries followed, including a black eye in February, which she said a bus aide blamed on him hitting himself with a toy, and a bruised foot in March.


Colorado students alleged injuries

Families of the three children shared images of the injuries the special needs students endured.  (Photos obtained by FOX31 Denver)

It wasn’t until Vestal asked to review the bus surveillance video last month, which she made public Tuesday, that she learned the bus aide was abusing her son.

“Had bus footage been routinely audited, the torture and torment of my sweet boy could have been stopped,” Vestal said, according to FOX31 Denver.

“If I could say one thing to Littleton Public Schools, it would be, how dare you?” she said. “How dare you fail my son in such an astonishingly preventable way?”

Jones was released from jail shortly after her arrest, The Associated Press reported. She is being represented by lawyers from the public defender’s office, which does not comment to the media on its cases.

A letter sent to parents on April 5 by Littleton Public Schools Superintendent Todd Lambert states Jones was terminated after her arrest on March 19, “the day these concerns were brought to our attention.”

Autistic boys' parents in Colorado

Devon Vestal, front, and his wife, Jess, react as they listen during a news conference to announce plans to sue the Littleton, Colo., school district for abuse suffered by their autistic child while riding the bus to class Tuesday, April 9, 2024, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

“This kind of behavior cannot be and is not tolerated. As parents, you trust us with the well-being of your children, and you should never have to worry about them being harmed when they are in our care,” Lambert wrote.

Fox News Digital reached out to Rathod Mohamedbhai LLC for additional comment, but they did not immediately respond.

Vestal, her lawyers and the two other families raising allegations claim the district failed to investigate what was behind their children’s unexplained injuries.

“Each family is experiencing an immeasurable amount of pain, heartbreak, anger and utter disillusionment as they seek justice for their children,” a press release from Rathod Mohamedbhai LLC said.

Together, the three families are considering a lawsuit against the school district, which provides the transportation of the students to The Joshua School. A statement from the school to Fox News Digital said it is an “independent organization contracted by school districts to provide educational and behavioral services to students.”

The statement added that the school operates separately from Littleton Public Schools, but it is “devastated about these terrible incidents involving the LPS employee.” The school is cooperating with the Englewood Police Department, which took over the case from the Littleton Police.

Jones had worked for the school district since August 2023. Her next court date is May 3, according to The Colorado Sun.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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