A 17-year-old Central High School student is being held without bond at the Bibb County jail on allegations that she choked an 11-year-old on a school bus Monday morning.
Iesha Latrece Tolbert is charged with simple battery, aggravated assault and cruelty to children, according to arrest warrants in the case.
Tolbert and the 11-year-old Miller Middle School student allegedly exchanged words on the bus about a neighborhood fight about 7 a.m. When the younger student stood up to allow another student to get off the bus, Tolbert allegedly pushed the younger girl and choked her, according to an incident report.
The encounter occurred on the third seat from the front of the bus, but the video camera wasn’t working, according to the report.
Tolbert told authorities she pushed the younger girl in the forehead and body. She wrote in a statement that she held the girl down in the seat. She denied choking the girl, according to one of the arrest warrants and the incident report.
Several witnesses said Tolbert pushed and choked the girl, according to the report.
Bibb schools spokeswoman Stephanie Hartley said bus surveillance cameras, including the one on Tolbert’s bus, were inspected during the summer.
The camera on Tolbert’s bus had a problem with the hard drive that wasn’t discovered until authorities tried to view the footage, she said.
“It has been replaced in that bus,” Hartley said.
While elementary school students ride buses separately from older children, using different routes, it’s not uncommon for middle and high school students to ride the same buses, she said.
To contact writer Amy Leigh Womack, call 744-4398.