Local News

Smithfield officer guilty of passing school bus

Posted April 21, 2011

— A Smithfield Police Department officer has been convicted of passing a stopped school bus, according to court records.

A District Court judge on Tuesday found Capt. Bruce Gentry, 43, guilty of passing the bus on Cleveland Road in his unmarked patrol car on Dec. 2. A prosecutor from outside Johnston County was called in to handle the case.

Gentry was sentenced to 45 days in jail, suspended to 12 months on probation, according to court records. He immediately appealed the verdict to Superior Court.

Police Chief Michael Scott said Gentry has been suspended for a week without pay, starting Monday. He also must take a state driver safety course at his own expense, and he is prohibited from driving a town-owned vehicle for 30 days, beginning May 2, Scott said.


This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • Mazdaspeed Apr 22, 2011

    I'm 22 years old now. Back when I was riding the bus in elementary, middle, and high school in the cary/apex area it was different. The buses always pulled off the main roads and dropped my classmates and I on a secondary or neighborhood road. Now that i've been driving for a while, it's starting to anger me seeing buses stopping in the middle of HIGHWAY 55 or any other major road, and halt traffic while some kids mother talks to the bus driver or takes his time to get off. Mind you, like others said, if I didn't move fast enough my bus driver yelled at me. And I directly recall one time when a mother approached our bus to talk to the driver and the driver basically told her she had to move the bus and didn't have time and to go talk to the school. What makes it even worse is the amount of people on phones/texting/sexting/eating/etc who half brained their way through a driving test and decide to stop on 4 lane median divided roads...when the bus is stopped on the opposite side

  • Haygrower Apr 21, 2011

    I'm with you mulecity--the huchymama should be dressed for work yet I think she's home schooling her kids as to walk slowly off the bus and across the road---like you when I was in school the bus didn't wait if you were dragging along--and you better be running when you crossed the road or you were in the principles office the next morning explaining why-then you had to explain why to MOM -DAD --now they go as far as the center lane and stop and talk to their friends hanging out the window while traffic backs up.

  • miseem Apr 21, 2011

    I agree with mulecity - and it's not just getting on the bus. I've seen a bus stop & it's ages before a kid gets off the bus, then they stroll around the front of the bus. I've seen people with walkers go faster. They need to have a timer built into the stop arm. When time is up, the alarm goes off. You then have 10 seconds, the sign goes in, the bus drives off & you're on your own to either get across the road or get to school.

  • silencedogood Apr 21, 2011

    Will this conviction revoke his Law Enforcement Certification from Training & Standards?

  • mulecitybabe Apr 21, 2011

    Passing a stopped school bus is a crime. BUT...

    I keep getting behind buses that stop every one or two driveways, and then sit there with their stop arms out while some fat welfare mama with a cigarette and a housecoat finally manages to open the door and then I have to wait while their kids waddle slowly out to the bus. I'm tempted to pass them myself.

    If the little entitled brats can't get to the bus, then they need to be left standing there and let big mama haul them to school. The bus never waited on any kids when I rode it. They shouldn't be waiting now.

  • 2alegal Apr 21, 2011

    Gentry!!! Come on.....Did you pass the bus or not?? What if you would have hit the child getting off the bus? Maybe your own child? Just sayin......Do the time.

  • dfendrjimray Apr 21, 2011

    Laws are for others.

  • leo-nc Apr 21, 2011

    "First of all Gentry is not a "good ol' boy" in the JoCo circuit. Sadly, he is probably the least liked/respected officer in the county. "----Reason

    Him and his Lieutenant.

  • tonyrheath Apr 21, 2011

    And a cop should be held to a higher standard than a regular Joe.
    IT'S CALLED INTEGRITY !! That's the kind of LEO we all need. The ones with integrity !

  • tonyrheath Apr 21, 2011

    Yes he committed the crime, he should do the time. Any citizen has the right to appeal a guilty verdict to superior court, this is called due process. As for being a police officer. HE SHOULD BE HELD TO A HIGHER STANDARD! If he is a Captain, why should any person of a lower rank respect him? He has lost all of his integrity with his co-workers and THE PUBLIC. This person whould not be working with any law enforcement agency with HIGH integrity !!!