Former Newport News bus assistant accused of slapping 4-year-old

Posted at 1:40 PM, Feb 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-16 18:23:56-05

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - Newport News Police are investigating a reported assault on a 4-year-old boy that occurred on a school bus.

Police say they were called to the 700 block of Brookside Drive on Feb. 10 in reference to a past assault.

The mother of the 4-year-old boy told police her son had been assaulted on the school bus by a bus assistant on Jan. 25. The woman said she was notified of the assault by Child Protective Services.

She said she called her son's school, Watkins Early Childhood, about the incident and they said her son spit on the bus assistant, 64-year-old Doll Shelton of Hampton.

After the boy spit on Shelton, she reportedly slapped him in the face, according to police.

Brandi Pratt, the boy's mom, says she still wants more answers about what happened, and says it's not clear if her son actually spit at the assistant. "If he didn't [spit], then yes, I feel she should be prosecuted for hitting somebody else's child," she said. If she says if he did spit, she would want the two to apologize to each other. "I don't want to ruin someone's life if he did spit," she said.

The school system says the video from the bus does not show him clearly spitting on her, but the child can be heard making spitting sounds.

The boy did not suffer any injuries as a result of the incident.

On Feb. 13, a warrant was issued on Shelton for assault. The outstanding warrant is still currently active. She is no longer employed with the Newport News School System.