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Bus driver sued for not stopping alleged assault

Child’s mother also names bus company in lawsuit

Published: Friday, Nov. 9, 2012 11:00 a.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, Nov. 9, 2012 12:11 p.m. CDT

A parent of a White Oak Elementary School student filed a lawsuit in Grundy County Circuit Court Tuesday over allegations her daughter was sexually assaulted by another student on a school bus.

According to the complaint, a mother, whose full name was withheld because of the nature of the case, is suing substitute bus driver David Hazeltine and the Illinois Central Bus Company.

The woman is alleging that, on Aug. 30, her 7-year-old daughter was riding the bus home when a fellow minor sexually assaulted her.

The complaint states that the child should not have been seated next to her daughter because of a incident that occurred the previous year in which the student wrote on her daughter’s arms with a permanent marker.

The complaint also states that the daughter yelled at the other child to keep her hands to herself and get away, and Hazeltine allegedly reacted to her screams and getting up out of her seat by issuing a disciplinary write-up for her actions.

In the count against Hazeltine, the complaint states it was his duty to prevent the sexual assault from occurring and alleges he failed to monitor the bus adequately, to recognize the situation and to stop the assault.

Two counts against the Illinois Central Bus Company allege that the company is liable for Hazeltine’s actions and that it was negligent in failing to tell the temporary driver that the two students should not be seated together and failing to ensure the student, who was previously disciplined, was not seated next to the woman’s daughter.

The woman is suing for her daughter’s personal and emotional injuries, medical and treatment expenses. She is seeking at minimum $50,000 plus the costs of the suit, as well as a jury trial.

She is being represented by attorney John V. Schrock of Joliet.

Officers sued for excessive force

In an unrelated case,  Joliet man is suing two Minooka Police Department personnel he claims used excessive force during an arrest.

According to the complaint filed Tuesday, Nov. 6, in Grundy County Circuit Court, Dennis Bavilacqua is suing Officer Mathew Juras and Sergeant Christopher Chiaventone for a Sept. 25, 2011 incident.

Bavilacqua alleges that on that date, Juras and Chiaventone arrested him for domestic battery in the parking lot of the police department, using excessive force that caused him to sustain injuries.

Bavilacqua is seeking at minimum $50,000, plus the cost of the suit, for the cost of medical expenses and treatment, pain and suffering and being unable to attend to normal affairs.

He is being represented by John V. Schrock of Joliet.

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