Former Virginia bus assistant accused of biting, scratching 9-year-old with special needs

Around the South

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — A former school bus driver’s assistant is facing charges after allegedly assaulting a child.

Police arrested Adela Avila last week. The alleged incident happened on a school bus in Virginia Beach back in November.

The family of the victim reached out to 10 On Your Side and said their 9-year-old son with autism is the victim. They say he goes to a school for students with special needs. The Virginia Beach School Division provides transportation for their son.

“I just couldn’t believe it. It’s hard to believe that somebody could do that because you work with these special children, you know sometimes they can be rough and sometimes they are okay,” said Janet Rance, the boy’s mother. Rance says she’s seen video of the incident, which shocked her.

Rance says she was called to pick her son up after the alleged incident and he told her what happened. She took him to a medical facility, where they noticed the bite marks, scratch marks and bruises.

According to court paperwork, Avila is accused of biting and leaving fingernail marks on the student.

Adela Avila

“She bit him in the shoulder,” Rance alleged. “He started screaming saying that ‘You bit me.’ The bus driver said ‘no,’ then he hid under the seat. They were trying to get him from under there.”

The alleged abuse occurred on Nov. 18. Court paperwork listed the student as 8 years old, but his mother has confirmed he is actually 9. The documents say Avila bit the student hard enough to break the skin. Documents also say investigators found fingernail marks on the child’s neck — Avila is accused of grabbing the student by the back of the neck.

School officials say she “separated” from the division on Nov. 20.

Avila has been charged with unlawful wounding and abuse and neglect of a child causing serious injury.

She was granted a $2,500 unsecured bond on Monday.

She denied an interview request.

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