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Mansfield bus driver arrested after knife complaint

MANSFIELD -- The school bus driver on paid administrative leave after three sixth-graders accused him of pulling a knife on them over cookie crumbs being left on a seat, has been arrested and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, Terry Morawski, a school district spokesman, said today.

William Allen, 66, is being held at the Mansfield City Jail on $15,000 bail. He will be on leave pending an investigation by district administrators and the district’s police department.

District police confiscated a pocket knife that had a 2-inch blade on it from Allen, Morawski said.

According to reports, two of the three Mary Orr Intermediate students told their parents that Allen pulled them off the bus Wednesday at the school and threatened to cut their wrists if they didn’t admit to eating Oreo cookies and leaving the crumbs on the seat.

Two of the parents said today that they have been told by district officials that Allen was a good employee and that the incident was similar to a “grandfather joking about cutting your ears off if you don’t knock it off,” the parents said.

But the parents of the girls said they aren’t laughing.

“You don’t joke around with young girls like that,” said Dianna Davis, mother of one of the girls. “If he had cut them, what were they going to say, 'Well, he didn’t cut that deep.'”

The parents were demanding Allen’s arrest this morning. “Had the roles been reversed, my daughter would have been taken into custody right away,” said Kendra Hill-Foreman, mother of another of the children. “I don’t care how good of an employee he is, he traumatized those girls.”

Traci Shurley contributed to this report.