A disgraced city school bus attendant took a plea deal Tuesday over charges that he throttled a disabled student on his bus.
Former Leesel Transportation Corp. attendant Beleck Valmont grabbed headlines in November after he was captured on video manhandling a 13-year-old girl with severe disabilities during a ride to class at Manhattan Children’s Center.
The girl’s parents, Shaheen and Alex Knox, are suing the city, Valmont and the school bus company for the shaking and jostling their child, India Knox, suffered during her ride to school on Oct 30.
India weighs just 84 pounds and is dependent on 24-hour medical care. She has the mental capacity of a 5-year-old.
Originally charged with six crimes including assault, Valmont pleaded guilty to assault in the third degree and was sentenced to 15 days of community service and an anger management program. He’s also been ordered to stay away from India.
Attorney Sanford Rubenstein, who’s representing India and the Knox family in their suit, said the civil case over Valmont’s actions is moving forward.
“Now that the criminal matter has been resolved with a plea we will move forward with the civil matter for damages for what happened to the victim, India Knox,” Rubenstein said.
India’s father has said the family is heartbroken by the incident, which left the girl traumatized and suffering from bruises and scratches.
Valmont, 57, who lives in Long Island, couldn’t be reached for comment.
His actions came to the attention of the Knox family after another bus staffer, who was concerned by what he saw on the bus that day, shot cell phone footage of the incident and notified school officials.
Valmont was immediately suspended from his job without pay after he was arrested over the incident on Nov 1. Education Department officials said he hasn’t been on a school bus since then.
On Nov. 8, he told the Daily News he had done nothing wrong.
Representatives for Bronx-based Leesel Transportation Corp. didn’t respond to calls for comment.
City Education Department officials said Leesel operates approximately 350 yellow school bus routes and is paid about $50 million per year by the city for its services.