Man with hatchet boards school bus loaded with children, Texas cops say

A north Texas man was arrested after police and school leaders said he carried a hatchet aboard a school bus full of children on Wednesday.

Sherman Independent School District Assistant Superintendent Tyson Bennett said Dennis Michael Richardson, a 59-year-old Sherman man, boarded the bus in the afternoon as it made one of its stops — but the bus driver stopped him at the top step and told him to get off the bus, which he did as the driver called 911, KXII reports.

“It is a crime to board our buses, and we will take that very seriously,” Bennett said, according to the TV station. “Sherman Police Department does as well, and they will be engaged by our driver.”

Richardson was arrested and booked at the Grayson County Jail on Thursday on criminal trespassing charges, with his bond set at $1,500, according to online jail records.

He later was released from custody, jail records said.

“We don’t know for sure what his true intentions are,” Sgt. Brett Mullin said, according to KRLD. “He indicated that kids were in his yard early that morning and possibly they were playing with the hatchet, so he was going to inform this bus driver what was going on.”

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Richardson did not make contact with any of the kids and no one was hurt, KRLD reports.

It’s not the first school bus incident this year to cause jitters for students and parents.

In late August, a North Carolina woman caused a stir after bringing an assault rifle to her son’s school bus stop, WSOC reported. The woman said she “was scaring coyotes off” at the time and she didn’t face charges, according to the TV station.

“Obviously we’re gonna suggest no one take a gun to a bus stop to pick up a child, but as far as criminal we can’t find a crime here,” said Chris Huneycutt of the Stanly County Sheriff’s Office, according to WSOC.

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Jared Gilmour is a McClatchy national reporter based in San Francisco. He covers everything from health and science to politics and crime. He studied journalism at Northwestern University and grew up in North Dakota.