Berkeley

Drunk School Bus Driver Arrested While Taking Kids Home from School

BERKELEY TOWNSHIP-Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer and Berkeley Township Chief of Police Karin DiMichele announced the arrest of Anthony Rodriguez, age 64, of South Toms River. Rodriguez was charged with Endangering the Welfare of a Child; a crime of the second degree, Driving While Intoxicated, Refusing to Provide a Breath Sample, Driving While Intoxicated in a School Zone and Reckless Driving; all motor vehicle offenses.

On October 17, 2019 at approximately 2:30 p.m., the Berkeley Township Police were alerted by school staff of an incident involving a school bus driver. It was reported that a bus driver, who was currently at the Clara B. Worth Elementary School in Bayville was acting erratically. School staff immediately investigated and confirmed that the bus driver was in fact acting in an unusual manner.

The bus was immediately taken off the route and approximately 30 children were transferred to another bus without incident. The Berkeley Township Police were then promptly notified and responded. Upon arrival, Berkeley Township Police determined that the bus driver, identified as Anthony Rodriguez, was under the influence of alcohol or an intoxicating substance. As a result, Rodriguez was placed under arrest and transported to Berkeley Township Police Headquarters for processing. Rodriguez refused to submit to an Alcotest. A warrant was obtained for a blood sample to determine Rodriguez’s blood alcohol content. Said sample will be tested and results are pending. Rodriguez is currently lodged in the Ocean County Jail pending a detention hearing.

Prosecutor Billhimer and Chief DiMichele would like to thank the administrators and staff at Clara B. Worth Elementary School for their attentiveness in responding quickly and immediately notifying the Police.

This is an ongoing investigation by the Berkeley Township Detective Bureau, Berkeley Township Traffic Safety Unit and the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office. Prosecutor Billhimer and Chief DiMichele urge anyone with additional information to contact Officer Scott Rudolph or Detective Michael Tier of the Berkeley Township Police Department at 732-341-1132, extension 611 or tips@btpdnj.org. Tips can be anonymous.

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