Pasco bus assistant caught on camera abusing autistic boy resign - WRBL

Pasco bus assistant caught on camera abusing autistic boy resigns

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Jeffrey Lamb, the boy with autism who was abused on a Pasco bus Jeffrey Lamb, the boy with autism who was abused on a Pasco bus
PASCO COUNTY, FL (WFLA) - James Lambert, the Pasco County school bus assistant caught on camera abusing an autistic boy last week has resigned.

In a short letter released Tuesday by the school district Lambert states, "I am resigning my position for personal reasons, effective June 3, 2014."

RELATED: Read Lambert's resignation letter

That was the same day a bus surveillance camera caught Lambert berating and slapping an autistic child named Jeffrey Lamb who was strapped into his seat. Lambert was responding to the boy for yelling profanities on the ride on during the last day of school.

In his resignation letter to Pasco Superintendent Kurt Browning dated today, Lambert goes on to write "I would like to thank you for the opportunity to have worked for the District and wish you and all of my colleagues' success."

The District suspended Lambert Friday, the same day detectives arrested him on two charges of criminal child abuse.

Monday, Lamb's mother Lori Lamb announced that the Orlando-based lawyer made famous for his defense of Casey Anthony may soon play a role in the abuse case.

Lamb told Eight on Your Side she will meet with Jose Baez Friday to discuss possible legal action.

Related: Mom wants answers after Pasco bus aide hits her son

Monday, the day after 8 on Your Side broadcast exclusive video of the incident, the Baez law firm asked Lamb to stop discussing the matter with reporters and refer all further questions to Baez. The firm has not yet responded to calls from News Channel 8 regarding the incident.

Earlier Monday, Lamb echoed her prior criticism of the bus assistant James Lambert for what he did to her son Jeffrey.

"He should be ashamed of himself," Lamb said.

Related: Pasco mom of autistic student views recording of slapping incident

Pasco Sheriff's detectives arrested Lambert Friday hours after Assistant Superintendent Ray Gadd made a personal appeal to Sheriff Chris Nocco to speed up a criminal investigation of the graphic and disturbing images caught on a bus surveillance last Tuesday, on the district's final day of school.

"When my superiors saw the video they said this guy needs to go," said the district spokesperson Linda Cobbe. "He has no business working with children."

Gadd told 8 on Your Side he immediately wanted to fire Lambert but was unable to because of the pending child abuse investigation. That's why he called the sheriff to speed up the process. After Lambert's arrest, the district suspended him.

8 on Your Side reviewed Lambert's 16-year work history as a bus assistant and discovered four complaints in his disciplinary file starting in 2010.

Two of those complaints involve relatively minor physical transgressions involving other school transportation employees. In one case he grabbed the back on another employee's belt and a second complaint cite him for grabbing a radio out of another worker's hand.

A third case cited Lambert for failing to mitigate bullying on the bus and the fourth complaint filed this past January criticized Lambert for telling students on his bus to "shut up."

Monday, a second parent of another autistic child who rides on Lambert's bus told 8 on Your Side she witnessed Lambert manhandling her son about six months ago. Then he tried to dart off the bus just after boarding. She asked that 8 on Your side only use her first name, Dawn.

"Jim [Lambert] had his arm and literally just yanked him and Evan went flying back and I looked at Miss Dianna [the bus driver] with shock and astonishment," Dawn said.

Bus driver Dianna Harvey told investigators she did not see or hear the acts of abuse caught on camera Tuesday. The district is reviewing her role in the incident and has determined one of the slapping episodes occurred while she was crossing an intersection.

Cobbe tells 8 On Your Side Lambert initially denied any abuse until confronted with the video recording. Lambert has not responded to 8 on Your Side's requests for comment.

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