Police: West York bus assault suspect released from hospital
The woman accused of assaulting a West York Area School District bus driver last week was released from the hospital and sent to York County Prison on Tuesday.
Jackelyn Sanchez, 30, of 1019 W. Poplar St., West York, allegedly assaulted a woman driving a bus full of elementary school children Friday morning, according to charging documents.
She had been taken to York Hospital after the incident for an evaluation, according to West York Director of Public Safety Matt Millsaps. On Tuesday, Sanchez was released and arraigned on her charges at District Judge Jennifer Clancy's office.
Release: Millsaps said the medical staff at York Hospital determined it was appropriate that Sanchez be released.
“At this point in time, the physicians felt that she was no longer in need of acute medical or psychiatric care,” he said.
Sanchez is charged with two counts of aggravated assault, interference with the custody of children, flight to avoid apprehension, theft, criminal mischief, unauthorized school-bus entry, resisting arrest, reckless endangerment, simple assault, strangulation, disorderly conduct and harassment.
Millsaps said during Sanchez's arraignment that she owed some money for a summary violation of passing a school bus last year. He said he helped her pay what she owed so she could avoid getting a warrant for not paying while in prison.
"We got her squared away there," he said.
Clancy set bail at $150,000. Additionally, Sanchez was ordered to have no contact with victims or witnesses in the case and to not have contact with her four children until the York County District Attorney's Office investigates the case, according to Clancy's office.
Background: A school bus picking up students bound for West York Area School District's three elementary schools was stopped at the intersection of West Poplar and Dewey streets about 8:25 a.m. Friday when Sanchez boarded, police said.
"She began violently and physically attacking the driver, as well as destroying property on the bus," Millsaps said. "She was just violently wailing on and grabbing at the bus driver. And whatever was in her proximity, she was damaging."
The woman has no known relationship to any of the students or to the driver, according to Millsaps.
Students on the bus, who ranged from kindergartners to fifth-graders, managed to open the bus' emergency exit and flee to safety, Millsaps said.
Some parents were on scene and called 911 immediately after the attack began, according to Millsaps, who said officers arrived moments later.
"The suspect fled but was subdued and restrained by our officers," Millsaps said.
Charging documents allege Sanchez got on the bus and wouldn't leave and ripped out the cord of the bus' two-way radio when bus driver Loretta Stump tried to call for help.
Sanchez then started punching Stump in the face and head and also choked her, police allege.
She tried to move Stump from the driver's seat "to gain control of the bus," at one point twisting and breaking a gear shifter, documents state.
As children fled the bus, one was knocked down by Sanchez while Sanchez was assaulting Stump, according to police, who said no children were hurt.
Children were screaming and crying as Officer Eric Rodgers arrived. One parent yelled out, "that's her" and pointed at Sanchez, who was running away, documents state.
Rodgers gave chase when she refused to stop, police said. He struggled with Sanchez as she resisted arrest, and both ended up on the ground, where Rodgers suffered an injury to his knee and aggravated an earlier injury to his wrist, charging documents allege.
Once in custody, Sanchez gave no information about herself, Millsaps said. She did make statements suggesting she was under the influence of a controlled substance and was singing a song from a children's Disney movie, Millsaps said.
School: On Friday, West York Superintendent Emilie Lonardi said all but about 20 of the students went home with their parents and some ended up going to school later.
Lonardi said there was discussion with the students at their schools "to be sure they feel safe."
According to the superintendent, two elementary school principals rode home on the bus with students Friday afternoon and likely will continue doing so into next week, until the students feel comfortable again.
On Tuesday, Millsaps said the police department received cards from some of the students on the bus, thanking the police department for their help.
Sanchez's preliminary hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m. July 11 at Clancy's office. She does not have an attorney listed.
— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @YDDornblaser.