LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- A quick-thinking school bus driver came to the rescue of two young children Friday morning in west Louisville. Police say a man stole a car, not knowing the children were inside, then dropped them off in the middle of the street.
Something was off this morning on JCPS bus driver Deris Cox’s route. On the 4100 block of Larkwood, he and another driver he was training noticed two small children walking down the street. One of them had no shoes on in 30 degree weather. “A two-year-old and an 8-year-old, shouldn’t be up at that time of morning, shouldn’t be out at that time of the morning,” explained JCPS’ director of transportation Rick Caple.
Caple says their bus drivers are trained by Homeland Security to pick up on things like that. “What is familiar, what is normal at the bus stop. You’re at that stop every day, you know what’s normal, what’s not normal,” Caple said of the training, “[The children] were cold and I think they were frightened. Driver again knew, something’s not right here.”
The kids wouldn’t talk to the bus drivers, wouldn’t explain what happened. It wasn’t until police were called that they found the children’s mother and started piecing the story together. The woman told police she was delivering newspapers on Larkwood with her kids in the car. When she got out of the car to drop a paper off, police say 18-year-old Dominique Dudley jumped in. The mother said she raced back to her car, grabbed the handle, screaming that her children were in the car, but she was knocked to the ground and he sped off.
Just a few blocks later, police say Dudley dropped the kids off. Thankfully, it wasn’t long before the bus came along. “We’ve got two drivers, a trainee and an experienced driver, something’s not right here and they did what they do every day, they protect children,” Caple said.
Dudley was found and arrested shortly after at the Shorty’s Grocery on the 900 block of Dixie. He’s facing charges of robbery, kidnapping, wanton endangerment and possession of marijuana. He also had two warrants for his arrest for previous robberies.