Media, PA – Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer today announced that charges have been filed against Juliet Pratt, 54, of Clifton Heights, for unlawful restraint, false imprisonment, endangering the welfare of a child, and assault. Pratt, an Upper Darby bus driver, is alleged to have used duct tape to restrain a ten-year old child on a bus she was driving in March 2023.
“Bus drivers are entrusted with enormous responsibility every time they get behind the wheel. In addition to being safe drivers, we also expect them to treat the children in their care with dignity and respect. Using duct tape on a child who was already fully restrained in the vehicle’s harness was not only inexcusable, it was also dangerous. Had an accident occurred, this child would have been unable to free himself from the tape. There is simply no excuse for this conduct, which is why these charges have been filed,” said District Attorney Stollsteimer.
On Wednesday, March 8, 2023, the Upper Darby Police Department was dispatched to Hillcrest Elementary School in Drexel Hill for the report of a ten-year-old assaulted by a bus driver. Video surveillance revealed that the defendant had restrained a student with duct tape around his ankles and his chest. The student was seated on the bus in the district-supplied safety harness. Upon arriving at the school, the defendant used a seat belt cutter to remove the tape from the child. At no time was the student observed trying to get out of his seat or otherwise move around the bus.
“I want to thank Upper Darby Police Department Detective Kevin Knapp and Detective Sergeant Oliveri for their work on this case. I also want to thank the hundreds of bus drivers who operate vehicles all over Delaware County every single day without incident. As the son of a SEPTA bus driver, I know firsthand that it is a difficult job that rarely gets the recognition that it deserves, and we do not want this case to detract from the great job that they do in support of the children of this County,” said Stollsteimer.
The District Attorney and the Criminal Investigations Division remind anyone in Delaware County who observes suspicious activity to call 911 immediately and provide the most specific and accurate details possible to assist law enforcement agencies investigating the call for service.
CRIMINAL CHARGES, AND ANY DISCUSSION THEREOF, ARE ALLEGATIONS AND ALL DEFENDANTS ARE PRESUMED INNOCENT UNLESS AND UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY.
Contact: Margie McAboy, Delaware County District Attorney’s Office, 610-579-0429.