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Bus Driver Arrested After Empty Liquor Bottle Found in School

Bus driver suspended and charged with risk of injury to minors after a small, empty liquor bottle was found Wednesday morning.

Patch File Photo
Patch File Photo
A First Student bus driver was arrested Wednesday for allegedly leaving an empty bottle of alcohol on school grounds.

According to a message sent to Ridgefield parents, a School Resource Officer at Scotts Ridge Middle School (SRMS) noticed the driver, 46-year-old Kathleen Sweikert, of Danbury, leaving a restroom at the school and discovered she had left behind an empty 1.8 ounce bottle of alcohol.

The incident occurred around 7:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Sweikert, who drove Bus 25, was taken into custody and charged with criminal attempt/risk of injury to a minor. She was released on a written promise to appear in Danbury Superior Court on June 10.

“As we all recognize, this is a disturbing incident,” Superintendent Deborah Low said. “While we have no indication that students were in danger [Wednesday], any involvement with alcohol by a school bus driver on the job presents serious risks.”

A substitute driver took over the route for Bus 25 and Sweikert has been suspended and banned from driving for Ridgefield schools.

“Given the long-term quality and dependability of our bus drivers’ service, we believe this is an isolated situation,” Low said. However, “We have suggested steps to First Student and the bus drivers to better ensure the safety of our students and to rebuild trust with the community. We are waiting for their response.”

Low also stated that the district is currently reviewing their contract with First Student and their drivers.

Editor's Note: the headline and lead have been altered to better reflect the incident as documented in the arrest.

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