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He Says His Name Used Erroneously

School Bus-Driver Pleads No Contest to Misdemeanor

‘What’s I’m Supposed to Do, Let This Kid Whup My Butt?’ He Commented

An Oklahoma City school bus driver pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge for a scuffle with a student that led to his firing.

Henry Ballard, 60, of Oklahoma City, pleaded no contest Friday to assault and battery.

Under a plea agreement, Mr. Ballard was sentenced to six months probation and ordered to pay a $100 fine.

At first, he was charged with felony child abuse over the 2015 scuffle but prosecutors amended the offense.

The boy was 14 at the time.

The plea comes months after Mr. Ballard had a trial on the child abuse charge. Oklahoma County jurors in February deadlocked 11-1, unable to agree on a verdict. The majority voted for not guilty.

A dramatic video of the Nov. 5, 2015, physical altercation was shown at trial. The video shows Mr. Ballard put both hands around the Webster Middle School student’s throat.

By phone Monday, Mr. Ballard said he was just trying to subdue the boy.

“If I wanted to hurt him, don’t you think I would have been punching the hell out of him?” Mr. Ballard said to reporters.

“All I did was grab him and hold him down. I never hit him.”...

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