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Trainspotter

Driver, matron busted as yet another disabled student is left abandoned

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A 4-year-old disabled boy was abandoned on a school bus Thursday after the driver failed to drop him off at his Brooklyn preschool and then left the bus at a parking meter.

 

Fortunately for Kamaal Richards, a good Samaritan spotted him sitting in the last row of the 22-seat yellow bus on Third Ave. in Bay Ridge.

 

"I saw the driver get off the bus and feed the meter," said Victoria Chuisano, who spotted the youngster from her perch at the counter of Lavender Blue, an aromatherapy store.

 

"And then I saw a little boy sitting on the bus all by himself," she said.

 

"It could have been an honest mistake, but how does anyone miss a child on a bus?"

 

Chuisano, a pregnant mom, called for help and then rescued the stranded child, who was turned over to police.

 

Kamaal's mother, Burgundy Richards, said she rushed to the hospital immediately after police told her about her son.

 

"I was upset. He was scared. He was nervous, and it looked like he had been crying," the 27-year-old said. "He said 'Mommy' but not much else."

 

The bus picked up Kamaal, who lives in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, to take him to the Stanley S. Lamm Preschool in downtown Brooklyn. After driver Eric Gambaro and matron Eletha Cumberbatch-King dropped off the students, Gambaro headed to Bay Ridge, where he lives, police said.

 

He parked about 9:45 a.m. and went home for his morning break - then ran out after getting a call that a child had been left on his bus. "The matron said all the kids were off the bus!" Gambaro's distraught wife, Rita, 35, said.

 

Gambaro and Cumberbatch-King were arrested and charged with endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor, police sources said.

 

Both were suspended by their company, Thomas Buses.

 

"We tell them, every day, repeatedly, to check for sleeping children," said bus company owner Richard Castellano.

 

Gambaro, 36, who has a clean driving record, had worked at

 

Thomas for nearly a year without any problems. Cumberbatch-King was a respected matron for seven years, Castellano said. At the last stop for a bus, matrons are supposed to walk to the back and check under seats. They are then supposed to flip over a sign saying the bus has been searched for sleeping children, Castellano said. "I asked if she went to the back of the bus to reverse the sign. I asked her - and she couldn't answer me," he said.

 

The lawyer for Kamaal's parents, John Ardito, said the family plans to sue.

 

The incident comes a month after a 22-year-old disabled young man was left overnight on an Outstanding Transport bus on New Year's Eve.

 

Only the matron was arrested in that blunder.

 

BY OREN YANIV, EDGAR SANDOVAL and ALISON GENDAR

DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS

January 30th 2009

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This is sad:mad::tdown:. It would be bad enough in this very cold winter so far for any kid let alone a disabled student. It's not like they work a 12-hour day.

It's one thing that a child's lunchbox or jacket is left on the bus. This is on the other hand is almost as bad as Myself a "sub' Teacher/Montior slapping a student for no reason.

 

This Matron and Driver should never be allowe to hold a school type job ever again. :mad:

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These people have been doing their jobs for years. It's probably an honest mistake, although I can't believe they'd overlook one child. Their suspension is deserved, but I don't know if they should be fired, but many are calling for their firing, because the parents are suing. Wow.

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i dont know they should have the common sence to check out the bus to make sure there are no persons still left on the bus thats a big responsibility.

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Leaving someone's child on a bus isn't a mistake, I'm sorry.

 

 

There's a huge difference between being imperfect (which every human being is) & being flat out irresponsible on one too many occasions.... It's time for these two (and anyone who's EVER left a child on a bus) to go... hasta la vista, unemployment awaits...

 

I don't get it... as long as you can see with ONE eye, let alone two, there is NO reason a child should be left on a bus.

Then again, if you're blind, you shouldn't be in that line of work...

 

 

If this was an MTA bus driver, many people would be calling for his/her head... But since it's a school bus driver, people want to label it as a mistake, like "Victoria" did... Incredible... people say anything on TV w/o putting much thought into it...

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