A high school parking lot dispute turned dangerous when the “agitated” mother of a student tried to run down a school employee, according to the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office in Southwest Florida.
It happened Thursday, Nov. 2, at Port Charlotte High School, about 100 miles south of Tampa, according to a news release.
Investigators say a 42-year-old dropped off her child for school and attempted to exit the parking lot via an entrance designated for arriving school buses.
“A staff member stopped the woman and advised that she could not exit that way due to buses coming in to unload students. This exchange agitated the woman, who eventually backed up and turned her vehicle around,” the sheriff’s office said.
“As (a) bus passed, the woman then turned her vehicle in the direction of the staff member and hit the gas, revving the engine and traveling at a high rate of speed toward him. The member was forced to dive into some bushes to evade the oncoming vehicle.”
The school employee was not injured and got the vehicle’s license plate information as it sped away, officials said.
An investigation, including interviews with witnesses and reviews of security footage, “corroborated the report of the victim,” the sheriff’s office said.
Deputies met with the driver Nov. 7 and learned she “prefers to go out through the entry to avoid speed bumps in the exit area that cause damage to her vehicle,” a report states. “She denied attempting to strike the victim with her vehicle,” officials said.
The woman was arrested “and charged with aggravated assault on a public or private education employee.”
Charlotte County Sheriff Bill Prummell acknowledged pick-up and drop-off lines at schools can sometimes be frustrating for parents.
“But we absolutely will not cut corners on ensuring the safety of the students and staff,” he said in the release.