School Bus Driver Accused Of Drinking a Beer, Continuing Route

Witnesses told police the bus driver drank the beer and then took one child home.

A bus driver taking children home from Bergen Catholic High School in New Jersey was arrested Wednesday on charges that he stopped during his route at a local ShopRite supermarket, downed a beer and continued driving with one child still aboard, a published report said.

Witnesses at the store told police that they saw James Pruitt, 43, of Spring Valley buy a beer and head back onto his bus after drinking it, reported.

An onlooker called police at 2:45 p.m. Four police cruisers stopped the bus on Railroad Avenue - about a half-mile from ShopRite, the report said.

Police officers said they could smell the beverage on Pruitt's breath.

Upon his arrest, Pruitt admitted drinking the beer, Orangetown police said.

 The child was escorted home by officers.

 Pruitt faces a charge of endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor, and an alcohol-related commercial vehicle violation.  He is due Orangetown Town Court on Nov. 19.

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