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Wake school bus driver won't face charges

Posted December 15, 2010

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— A Wake County school bus driver accused of slapping a student will not face criminal charges, Wake County District Attorney Colon Willoughby said Wednesday.

Ashkenaz Gill, 38, resigned from his job last month after being suspended with pay, pending the results of internal and criminal investigations.

Mark Tourscher said his 5-year-old son, Cory, and another child were playing on a bus from Wendell Elementary School on Nov. 5 when the driver hit Cory.

Cory has dyspraxia, a neurological condition that affects speech and motor skills, his father said, and his capacity to understand and learn is that of a 3-year-old.

Gill had disputed the accusation, saying he has children with special needs of his own and that he would never hit a child.

Tourscher called the district attorney’s decision “ridiculous” and said the decision was based on Cory’s inability to clearly articulate what happened.

“Because he is disabled, he is not entitled to the protection of the laws of this state," Tourscher said.

Gill had been a bus driver for the district for two years.


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  • bestinterestof Dec 17, 2010

    I just did a google search of the fathers last name. I do not think this is about the child at all. Looks more like this is about a criminal who some how or another has gotten his hands on a child that he can now manipulate and use to seek whatever it is he wishes. Someone truly needs to look into this "father".

  • tritonlm6 Dec 17, 2010

    Autistic children/adult behavior is unpredictable and in many cases border line dangerous. Think twice about integrating them with the mainstream student population. Don't they still have short buses? What's more important? The safety of all or the hurt feelings of one?

  • Mustange Dec 16, 2010

    Riding a school bus is a PRIVILDGE you all should ride one and see what these kids are doing on thim. In fact you should have to drive one and see these kids out of control. And ask yourself how that driver does it everyday without having an accident and killing someone. ITS SAD and then look at what they get paid to do THATS another JOKE!!! iF the fine folks that work for the public school system was to say the heck with it i would not blame thim one bit for it. I have seen teachers hit, punched screamed at and threaten right along with the bus drivers. And remember the parents that say not my child they dont do that come out some time and take a goooood look at whats going on.

  • lizard Dec 16, 2010

    I agree with the DA but the little rascal should have had his britches seat "heated." He should not have been slapped.

  • lizard Dec 16, 2010

    hpr641 -


  • Pseudonym Dec 16, 2010

    Mr Tourcher, I have 3 kids, and I can tell you from EXPERIENCE that when a child cannot "clearly articulate what happened," it usually means the child was misbehaving. Quit whining, man up, and be a daddy to Cory instead of his defense attorney.

  • Crankyone Dec 16, 2010

    Having been way to close to situations such as this I agree with Mr. Tourscher completely. This is not an exception. What about the autistic children's situation at Carroll Middle School? That was quickly swept under the rug, probably for a little bit of money.

    I want to ask the DA: if someone is murdered they cannot articulate too well either. Do we just decide not to prosecute those cases as well? What a coward.

  • hpr641 Dec 16, 2010

    Tourscher said the DA's decision was based on Cory’s inability to clearly articulate what happened. “Because he is disabled, he is not entitled to the protection of the laws of this state," Tourscher said.

    Mr. Tourscher, I agree with you. Matter of fact, several million children would also agree with you that a child's entitlement to the protection of our state gets denied because they are unable to clearly articulate what is happening to them ... of course, that's kinda hard to do when you haven't been born yet.

  • Warden Dec 16, 2010

    So glad that he won't face charges, but he should really have his job back. It's a shame he felt he had to resign, but I kind of understand. A man works an incredibly difficult job (thanks horton, btw) for two+ years, and one completely unproven accusation can mean that he would be getting flak from parents from here on out. Still, a shame. Glad the law is doing the right thing, here.

    And I can't disagree with you more, larabina. Your rights end where another person's begin. If your child's behavior is a danger to herself or others, or if they do not have the understanding to ride a bus safely without supervision (would you put a 3 year old on a bus alone?), they could be endangering everyone else on their bus, children and driver included.

  • fromRaleigh Dec 16, 2010

    larabina i respectfully disagree with you. it is not ignorant it is called being protective. there are thirty plus children that ride a bus, basically with no adult supervision because the adult in charge is "busy" driving the bus. i would never in a million years put my three year old into that situation much less if i had a disabled child who had the mentality of a three year old. what if there had been something more sinister going on on that bus?! would anyone knowingly put a child with the mentality of a three year old who could not tell an adult about what was going on in that situation-what for convenience?