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Video shows parent attack student on Lafayette School Corp. bus

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LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — A video circulating social media shows a Lafayette School Corp. parent attacking a student on a school bus.

LSC Supt. Les Huddle on Wednesday confirmed the video was taken on a corporation bus in December.

The video was posted to Facebook Dec. 13 with the title, "this lady got on a school bus with a can in a sock to fight a child." The video was taken down by the Facebook user after the initial publication of this story.

The video shows the parent inside the bus, which is packed with students, repeatedly striking a teen-aged student using an object tucked inside what appears to be a long black sock.

The video shows at least two other students join in on the attack by repeatedly hitting and stomping the student while she shields herself on the ground.

The suspects are also heard calling the student profanities. Before the video ends, someone else on the bus is heard saying, "You're going to kill her."

LSC parent Jennifer Rabanus says her children were there.

"When the kids got off the bus and came home, they let us know that someone had been attacked on their bus and we at no time got contacted by the school," she says.

Rabanus says the incident happened early Dec. 13 near a bus stop at 15th Street and Schuyler Avenue.

"Our children have not ridden the bus since that day because we can't be assured that our children are safe on the bus with an adult being able to enter the bus, assault a student and leave," she says.

Rabanus says the parent left the bus and headed to the Lafayette Big Lots store. Meanwhile, she says, the bus driver finished the route and dropped the victim off at nearby Jefferson High School. 

LPD Lt. Randy Sherer says officers were called to Big Lots at about 7:30 a.m. Dec. 13 to investigate a possible fight. After clearing the scene, officers met with the 16-year-old victim inside the high school.

After speaking with the victim, officers identified but were unable to locate the parent in the video. Sherer says officers talked to the parent at Big Lots before realizing she was a suspect.

LPD forwarded the case to the Tippecanoe County Prosecutor's Office on Wednesday after media inquiries about the video. Sherer says the nearly month-long delay is the result of officers conducting follow-up investigations and records technicians processing evidence.

Prosecutor Pat Harrington says his office is waiting for the reports to review and consider possible formal charges.

Huddle provided the following statement:

"An unauthorized parent boarded the bus and attempted to solve a dispute between several students that occurred over a weekend. The Lafayette Police Department was involved immediately and is handling the case. Since this is now a police matter, I cannot share any other information."

But Rabanus takes issue with that description.

"She did not get on the bus to calmly resolve a dispute," she says. "She got on the bus and criminally assaulted a child. That's what happened so let's not try to make it seem like something that it's not."

Huddle declined a follow-up interview with News 18. 

"Since this is still an active LPD case, I cannot comment further on the situation," Huddle says in an email. "The LSC is working with LPD to provide them with all the information and videos we have."

The victim's mother contacted News 18 but declined an interview.

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