Hillsborough County
David Gee, Sheriff
Tampa, FL
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    Release Number: 11-435

    • For Immediate Release:
    • Public Information Office of Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office
    • December 19, 2011
    • Contact Person:
    • Debbie Carter : dcarter@hcso.tampa.fl.us
    • 813-247-8059

    School Aide Charged With Child Neglect

    School aide charged after 3 year old left on the school bus for 5 hours.
    • Monday
    • December 19, 2011
    • Time: 12:00 AM
    • Hillsborough County

    Suspect:

    Sarah Thomas, DOB 11-04-50
    10532 Pleasant Blvd.
    Riverview, FL

    Charge: 

    • Child Neglect

    Details:

    On December 15, 2011, Sarah Thomas, was working as a drivers aide to the Hillsborough County School District and acting as a caregiver for the students on the bus. The victim that was a passenger on the bus was left on the bus by the defendant for approximately 5 hours. The victim was left unattended, without food or water and without a restroom for the entire time she was on the bus. The victim is a 3 year old special needs student attending Hillsborough County School. The actions of the defendant were negligent in leaving the victim on the bus and for not assuring the victim were taken off the bus at her scheduled stop. On December 15, 2011 the child got on the bus in Seffner at approximately 7:20 a.m. and was to exit at Lopez Elementary School. The child was discovered sitting in the bus at approximately 1:00 p.m. by the bus driver. The bus had been parked during the day at Valrico Elementary School.

    Deputies investigated the incident and after consulting with the State Attorney's Office a warrant was issued for Sarah Thomas. She was taken into custody December 19, 2011 without incident. The child was not injured, but was taken to a local hospital to medically cleared.
  • Sheriff David Gee
    Sheriff David Gee
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