School bus driver stalked 8-year-old boy and followed his parents: Feds

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A school bus driver is charged with harassing and threatening an 8-year-old boy in New Hampshire, prosecutors say.  The Maine man reportedly followed his parents' cars.

A school bus driver is charged with harassing and threatening an 8-year-old boy in New Hampshire, prosecutors say. The Maine man reportedly followed his parents’ cars.

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A school bus driver accused of harassing and threatening an 8-year-old boy has been keeping tabs on his parents with magnetic GPS trackers placed on both of their cars in New Hampshire, federal prosecutors say.

The driver, Michael Chick, 39, from Maine, is also accused of telling the boy that “the team” would kidnap and torture him, as well as hurt his family, if he did not give in to the group’s demands, which included sending photos. of himself.

The tracking devices informed him that the parents had made several trips to the Greenland police station where they reported that the driver had given the boy and his sister gifts, including sweets, and left some letters to their home saying the children were missing, according to court documents.

Now Chick is facing an interstate harassment charge after admitting to investigators that he threatened the Greenland Central School student he was driving on his bus route, according to a complaint filed with the district court. American from New Hampshire.

Chick appeared in court on August 8 and the court ordered that he be held until a detention hearing on August 18, according to a Justice Department press release.

McClatchy News reached out to Chick’s attorney who said “I have no comment” in a statement Aug. 10.

In April, the boy’s parents first raised concerns about Chick at Greenland Central School after he allegedly gave their children gifts and left letters at their home when they were absent, according to court documents.

The parents also reported that Chick told the boy and his sister where he kept his own house key hidden and as a result, the sister shared where the family hid his key, according to an affidavit attached to the complaint.

After the parents reported that Chick had asked to attend their son’s Little League baseball game in May, a school resource officer told the bus driver he could no longer contact the boy or the family, according to the affidavit.

On July 2, the boy’s parents arrived at the Greenland Police Station to report that they had found two Tracfone cell phones hidden in a lunch box in the boy’s cupboard that Chick had given him, states the affidavit. In an interview, the boy told officers that Chick called the child on his bus and gave him the phones.

About two weeks later, police obtained and reviewed video and audio of conversations between Chick and the boy on the bus between May and June, investigators say.

Police found that on May 13, Chick told the boy he had paid the group he called “The Team” $1,000 to stop them from harming him. He offered the boy a cell phone, according to court documents.

Eventually, a search warrant of Chick’s home in Eliot, Maine revealed notes written on school bus authorization slips, including one that read, “I’m going to run out of money.” $1,000 a week is what keeps your family alive and together,” the affidavit states.

At Chick’s home, investigators also found more notes and instructions, ‘as if written directly to (the boy)’, to take photos and videos of himself over the phone, the affidavit said. .

On Chick’s computer, authorities found digital notes, including one that read “YOU ARE TOO MUCH CHANCES…DO THIS NOW OR THE CHILD IS DISAPPEARED,” the court documents say.

Meanwhile, other investigators executed a search warrant of Chick’s car and found “a TracFone, digital camera, duct tape, rubber gloves, sweet alcohol (candy), candy, children’s clothing including underwear, children’s toys, a magnetic vehicle GPS tracker as well as his T-Mobile cell phone,” according to court documents.

Later, when interviewed by investigators, they say, Chick admitted he gave the boy three different phones, showed the child the digital note on his computer, followed his parents and visited the family home about 10 times a night, among other admissions. Chick declined to share more information, according to the affidavit.

As a bus driver, Chick was assigned to different routes for Greenland Central School, according to the press release.

School District Superintendent Stephen Zadraavec told McClatchy News in a statement that Chick was employed by First Student, which is a company with which the school contracts bus services.

In a letter provided to families advising that Chick faces a federal charge, Zadravec said Chick no longer works for First Student.

“We will continue to work with law enforcement and our bus company on measures to keep our students safe,” Zadraavec wrote in the letter.

Greenland is about 50 miles east of Concord.

Julia Marnin is a McClatchy National Real-Time reporter covering the Southeast and Northeast while based in New York. She is a College of New Jersey alumnus and joined McClatchy in 2021. Previously, she has written for Newsweek, Modern Luxury, Gannett and more.

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