TEXARKANA, Texas–A Texarkana school bus driver has been charged with injury to a child for allegedly putting a seventh grade Texarkana Independent School District student in a head lock while forcibly removing him from a bus in late September.
Adam Maurice Welcher, 48, allegedly picked the boy up and put him in a seat before grabbing him in a “bear hug” from behind as he walked him to the exit, according to a probable cause affidavit. A video recording of the Sept. 25 incident allegedly shows the boy attempting to pry Welcher’s hands away from his body and resisting by placing his feet on the backs of bus seats.
“At one point during the movement, Welcher stopped and placed [the student] in a ‘Full Nelson,’ placing his arms under [the boy’s] armpits and his hands across the back of [the boy’s] neck,” the affidavit said, noting that Welcher was “tilting [the student’s] head down and forward [as] he picked him upward while walking forward to the landing of the bus steps.”
“Welcher then released [the boy] and told him to ‘get his ass off the bus,'” the affidavit said.
The boy’s mother made a complaint with the school’s police department and reported that she took her son to the doctor after he began complaining of neck pain that night over dinner.
According to the affidavit, multiple children who’d witnessed the confrontation were interviewed and the alleged victim and another child provided written statements. Investigators reportedly have a video of the incident and records from the boy’s medical treatment.
The affidavit said the boy’s mother reported that her son has missed school to see a doctor, has seemed traumatized by the experience and is not sleeping normally.
Welcher has been charged with injury to a child and faces six months to two years in a Texas state jail if convicted. He was booked into the Bowie County jail Oct. 10 and released Oct. 12 on a $10,000 bond.