Steele County school bus driver found not guilty in assault case

- A jury found a southern Minnesota school bus driver not guilty of assaulting a student on his bus last January. 

The student was a fourth grader at Medford Elementary. He claimed he bumped his head when the bus driver put him in his seat. 

The driver, Philip Heim, and his attorney, Joe Tamburino, maintained the boy was being unruly at the time. Tamburino also pointed to a state statute, which allows bus drivers to use reasonable force when restraining a child. 

“There was no intent to cause any harm,” said Tamburino. “The bus driver was simply restraining the child so he wouldn't cause a disturbance on the bus because disturbances on the bus that doesn't bode well for safety.”

Tamburino said surveillance video on the bus captured the incident and likely played a large factor in the jury's decision.

Heim is still employed by the bus company, but was assigned to a different route. 

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