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Child left behind in school bus; driver arrested

Profile image for By Britney Tabor and Megan Gray / Staff Writers
By Britney Tabor and Megan Gray / Staff Writers

A 78-year-old Sanger man was arrested by Sanger police Friday for leaving a child in a school bus for several hours.

Charles Alfred Renz, a bus driver with the Sanger Independent School District, was charged with abandonment and endangerment of a child criminal negligence, records show, and brought to the Denton County Jail on Friday night.

Police said a 5-year-old boy was dropped off by his father on Friday morning at a bus stop around 7:20 a.m. and, once the child got on the bus, was forgotten about all day in the summer heat.

The National Weather Service recorded a high of 102 degrees at Denton Enterprise Airport on Friday.

Renz had brought the bus back to the district’s bus barn after his shift with the child still on the bus, Sanger police Detective Jonathan Perkins said.

“A football coach went to the bus barn to pick up the bus to bring to the high school Friday afternoon,” Perkins said.

While the bus was parked at Sanger High School, someone found the Chisholm Trail Elementary kindergartener on the bus, police said.

The child was taken by his parents to the hospital and was checked out. Perkins said he seems to be doing fine now.

A statement issued late Friday by the district said they are investigating the incident.

According to the statement released by Sanger Superintendent Kent Crutsinger, parents and school officials are working together at ensuring that “the safety and well being of the student is being addressed.”

“Sanger ISD will continue to investigate and take appropriate steps in the matter,” the statement said. “We remain steadfast in our commitment to provide a safe and secure environment for our students at all times.”

Additional information was not immediately available from the district.

Perkins said of his 13 years with the department, he doesn’t recall any other times a child has been left on a bus.

“It’s not good and hopefully doesn’t happen again,” he said.

Renz was released from jail on Saturday afternoon after posting $7,500 bond, county officials said.

MEGAN GRAY can be reached at 940-566-6885 and via Twitter at @MGrayNews.

BRITNEY TABOR can be reached at 940-566-6876 and via Twitter at @BritneyTabor.