Video footage released Friday depicts chaos aboard a school bus as students screamed, cursed and laughed when authorities said they threw food and rocks at passing vehicles.
What exactly the students from the Septima P. Clark Academy used in the May 8 incident is difficult to discern from the grainy footage.
The Charleston County Sheriff's Office said students carried a bag of food and a pizza box of rocks aboard the bus at the North Grimball Road school before leaving for North Charleston.
Eight were arrested this week on charges of interfering with the bus driver and other misdemeanor counts.
They were suspended for two to four days.
A Hanahan motorist, who flagged the bus driver down on the James Island Expressway near Folly Road, reported that the bombardment did $950 damage to his Ford pickup.
From the start, according to the video, the driver struggles to control the students.
"You're going to act right . or don't get on the bus," he tells them. "You will not act up on this bus."
But for the next 15 minutes, the video shows the students milling about and sticking their arms and heads through open windows.
One young man walks up to a camera and paints the lens with correction fluid.
At certain points in the footage, thuds are heard.
"Hit the gas," one says. "Hit the (expletive) gas."
After one student screams that a driver is pulling over, a repeated banging resounds. The bus had caught someone's attention.
"Tell 'em you got the wrong bus," a student says.
The driver tells the students that he's reporting their actions, but one young woman attempts to grab the radio from him.
"No!" the driver says.
Much of the action unfolds more than 14 minutes into the clip, when most of the students roar in laughter. Some of them duck and scurry up the aisle to different seats.
"He getting over," a student yells. "He getting over."
"You're losing your job," another tells the driver.
"I'm calling it in," the driver says.
"(Expletive) you, boy," a student responds.
Charleston Police Department officers, who first responded to the call, board the bus about 24 minutes into the video. Deputies later took over the investigation.
"I thought this was a vehicle accident," a police officer says. "But somebody threw something, right? Here's all the coleslaw right here, so who had all this stuff? . Who was sitting here? Anybody?"
But no one admits to throwing the coleslaw.
Reach Andrew Knapp at 937-5414 or twitter.com/offlede.
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