FREMONT COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – A Colorado school bus driver was arrested on Wednesday after he allegedly admitted to slapping a 10-year-old girl for how she was wearing her face mask. Jaquez Bertram Armand, 63, was captured on surveillance cameras hitting the girl in April in Fremont County.
Armand is charged with child abuse causing injury, third degree assault and harassment. He was booked at the Fremont County Detention Center before posting $1,000 bond.
The video, which was obtained by KKTV, shows the bus driver talking to the girl after she moved her mask below her nose. According to documents from the school, the girl said she moved her mask below her nose Several girls were arguing about masks and the driver came to the back of the bus and told her put her mask on.
“I told him no, I get sick from mask[s],” the girl wrote in a statement to the school. She said the other kids told her again to put her mask on.
“I yelled at them and said you shut up your (sic) not involved in this and the bus driver slapt (sic) me,” she wrote.
In a written statement to the school district, the bus driver, Bertram Jaquez, admitted, “Out of reaction, I slapped her once.”
The Fremont County School District released a statement, that said, in part:
“We are very saddened by this incident. Our goal every day is to transport students safely to school and back home, but that can only happen when everyone, including students and staff, follows the rules.”
Jaquez was immediately placed on administrative leave and is no longer employed by the district. You can read the handwritten statement from the student by clicking here.