by: Greg Suskin Updated:
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Two Charlotte women are charged with assault and interfering with a school bus after police said they punched a school bus driver in the face and upper body.
Tiara Henderson, 28, and her sister, Josephine Henderson, 35, were charged after the incident on Sept. 11. They were arrested Friday.
Police said they boarded a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools bus when it stopped in the morning at Amity Place and Farmingdale Drive in east Charlotte and assaulted the driver, a 54-year-old woman.
Tiara Henderson told Channel 9 on Monday that her 5-year-old son and her nephew were in tears, afraid to get on the bus, because they said the driver was mean and yelled at the children on the bus.
Henderson said she and her sister only went to the bus to question her about it.
"We did not go to the bus stop looking for an altercation. We went to the bus stop to get a resolution, because the kids were scared to get on the bus," Tiara Henderson said. "I never hit that woman. I wouldn't do that."
She said the driver wouldn't answer their questions and was getting angry, so they both got on the bus to remove their children.
"I didn't want my son and my nephew going anywhere with her," Tiara Henderson said. "As my sister is standing there, in the doorway, not on the bus, she puts the bus in drive, and my sister's moving along with the bus as she pulls off.”
Neighbor Ken Eagle saw the confrontation outside the school bus that morning. He said there were other children on the bus at the time.
"I saw them yelling from the door. If I was that driver, I would have just shut the doors and drove off," Eagle said.
Another neighbor, Maxine Goodwin, said the behavior of both mothers sets a poor example.
"How can we discipline our children about how to act out in public if we go out and act outrageously?" Goodwin said.
Tiara Henderson said she and her sister are now banned from the school bus stop and Idlewild Elementary School where their children attend.
On Monday, CMS told Channel 9 they had investigated the incident and charged the women with interfering with the operation of a school bus.
CMS did not offer any comment about what happened or what led to the incident.
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