JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A student said it was chaos aboard a school bus when someone on board a school used pepper spray on other students. The driver drove the bus to Memorial Hospital to get help.
The incident occurred Thursday afternoon near the intersection of Beach and University boulevards. Several students were believed to have been treated at the hospital, but there were no details of any injuries.
We are still working to find out which school was involved. A Duval County Public School official said it did not involve anyone from a public school.
A video of the incident from sent to News4Jax by a student on the bus shows what appears to be a fight and screaming before the pepper spray is released. Children are covering their faces with shirts. Some are yelling and others are crying.
Crime and safety expert Ken Jefferson, who viewed the video, says it looked like total chaos.
“When you spray the pepper spray ... it doesn’t just hit the intended target, it spreads out,” Jefferson said.
Jefferson said a person can be charged with aggravated assault as pepper spray is a weapon. While intended for self-defense, it could be used aggressively.
At the hospital shortly after the incident, News4Jax saw a young person in the back of a police car. JSO has not said if anyone was arrested or charged in a crime.
“This could’ve been dangerous all the way around -- not only for the kids hit with the pepper spray, but what if it hit the driver,” Jefferson said.
Students on a school bus headed home Thursday afternoon found themselves diverted to Memorial Hospital.
Three school buses could be seen about 3 p.m. in the emergency room parking lot and students were getting on one of the buses.
Although details into what happened have not been fully confirmed, a Jacksonville Sheriff's Office spokesperson told News4Jax there may have been a fight on a school bus that resulted in the bus driver pulling into the hospital.
A hospital spokesperson confirmed there were people treated for injuries, but could not say how many people and what type of injuries.
News4Jax has learned that the school bus was not operated by Duval County Public Schools or any of its contractors.