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26-year-old James Brunson was charged with 32 felony counts of aggravated child abuse after a month-long investigation into allegations that he abused four special needs students while he worked as a school bus monitor. / Source: Lake County Sheriff's Office

School Bus Monitor Arrested, Charged with Child Abuse Against Young Special Needs Students

EUSTIS, Fla — A Eustis school bus monitor was arrested and charged with 32 counts of child abuse against four young special needs children between the ages of seven and nine years old according to the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.

Detectives first received complaints about 26-year-old James Charles Brunson on May 17 after the Department of Children and Families contacted deputies in reference to allegations they received.

Detectives with the Sheriff’s Office managed to obtain a subpoena for the video surveillance footage for the day in question where Brunson was traveling with the students to and from Sorrento Elementary School.

In the footage, investigators witnessed Brunson physically abusing four special needs students by grabbing them by the face, pulling and twisting their arms, forcefully twisting their heads, forcefully pulling on the harnesses for the restraint seats, and pushing them against the wall of the bus.

Brunson was also seen on video stretching one student’s leg up over his head, and placing a shoe over another student’s mouth.

Sorrento Elementary School officials were not immediately available to comment on the incident.

After concluding their investigation, Brunson was arrested Thursday afternoon and charged with 32 felony counts of aggravated child abuse. He remains at the Lake County Jail without bond and is scheduled to appear in court on July 23.

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