APSO investigating school bus incident in Donaldsonville

Greg Fischer Editor-in-chief
A significant view of the damage to the Donaldsonville High School Field House from a stolen bus incident currently under investigation.

UPDATE 6:11 p.m.:

From APSO: "As the investigation continued, detectives learned that four juveniles walked on the high school campus after hours and entered the school buses and drove the buses in the parking lot before striking the exterior of the building.

"Four juveniles have been identified and charged in connection with this case after detectives reviewed surveillance video of the incident.

"The juveniles are charged with criminal mischief, criminal trespassing, felony criminal damage to property, three counts of simple burglary, and three counts of unauthorized use of a movable."


According to Ascension Parish Sheriff Bobby Webre, juveniles were somehow able to get onto school busses last night. They got one bus stuck and crashed another into the Donaldsonville High School field house.

"They went joyriding and ran some of the busses into the buildings," Webre said. "They did some significant damage to what they call the 'field house.'"

Ascension Public Schools Public Information Officer Jackie Tisdell said they are currently working with APSO to assess the damage to the property to figure out how much it will cost to repair everything.

"I don't have that kind of information yet," she said. "Beyond that, any details have to come from the sheriff's office because it's an active investigation."

Tisdell added that part of what they are looking into is how the kids could acquire keys to the bus.

"It's not that hard to get onto a bus, to open those doors," Tisdell said. "But how they were able to get the busses started is I'm sure all part of the investigation."

Sheriff Webre said at first they assumed the busses were "hot wired," but that was not the case. If the busses are not sitting with keys in the glovebox, then maybe the kids had access to a school worker or bus driver.

"I don't know if all bus drivers leave their keys in the bus," Webre said. "Or some do, and some don't. I know they got one stuck and ran one into the building."

Webre said he got the call about the incident at around 9 p.m. and believes it all happened fast, within 10 minutes. He said they are not yet certain if the juveniles intended to run the bus into the building or simply did not know how to drive.