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UPDATE: Man accused of blocking Catoosa County school bus from its route arrested

From Local 3 News: A man accused of blocking a Catoosa County school bus from its route on Monday evening has been charged.   The incid

From Local 3 News: A man accused of blocking a Catoosa County school bus from its route on Monday evening has been charged.


The incident happened around 4:30pm in the area of Stewart Road at Smith Chapel Road.


Catoosa County spokesperson John Pless says an investigation shows that 55-year-old Roger O’Neal Barrett stopped a Catoosa County Public Schools bus using his truck to block it.


Pless says Barrett claimed a student on the bus flashed an obscene hand gesture at his wife and child, prompting him to block the bus in an attempt to get the student’s information.


“I let him know that he was being really irrational and that there are little kids on the bus just trying to get home to their parents,” said Scarlett Rutherford, whose middle school-aged daughter was on the bus at the time of the incident.


Rutherford recorded a video of the heated exchange between Barrett and another parent.


“I just want to know where he lives and his name so I can make a report. That’s all I want,” Barrett can be heard saying in the cell phone video. “What he done to my daughter and my wife was wrong.”


Pless says Barrett ended up leaving the scene before deputies arrived.


“I think it was a pride or ego thing,” said Rutherford. “I thought it was pretty crazy that he got his feelings hurt by a minor and made that big of a deal out of it.”

Rutherford said she drove her daughter home from the intersection after police arrived.


Pless says an investigation of the incident, which included the video from the bus, confirmed Barrett blocked the bus while he and his daughter engaged in an argument.


“It’s a pretty big deal stopping a bus filled with kids and making them all nervous and upset over that,” Rutherford said.


Barrett turned himself in at the Catoosa County Jail on Tuesday morning.


He was charged with Disruption or Interference with Operation of Public Schools and released on a $1,000 bond.


“During an afternoon bus route on April 24th, an individual blocked a school bus with students on board. The bus driver followed protocol and contacted the Director of Transportation on the bus radio. The transportation director then called 911. The individual did not enter the bus. Law enforcement arrived on the scene to ensure the bus continued the afternoon route,” Catoosa County Public Schools spokesperson Marissa Brower said in a statement.


Superintendent Chance Nix said, “I appreciate the quick response from our bus driver, director of transportation, and the Sheriff’s Office. I know this was a scary situation for our students and parents.”