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Berkeley County Bus Assistant Accused of Choking Autistic Student

PICTURED: JUNOT MACK

BERKELEY COUNTY, S.C.–A Berkeley County school bus assistant has been fired after authorities say surveillance video shows him choking a special needs student on a school bus recently.

Police say the video shows the 17-year-old autistic child pinned down by a bus assistant, who then put his hands around the child’s neck.

The bus assistant has been identified as 36-year old Junot Mack. He has been charged with 3rd degree assault and was booked into the Berkeley County Detention Center.

Investigators with the Moncks Corner Police Department say the attack happened Monday morning at Berkeley High School.

Police say Mack attacked the teen after he refused to hand over some paper dolls.

Quiozel Simmons Sr., the child’s father, spoke to WCBD-TV shortly after the incident occurred and says he’s bothered by the actions of the bus assistant.

“You put him in the hands of other people and he’s supposed to be safe. He wasn’t safe yesterday morning,” he told the TV station. “And he’s bigger than me and he adjusts his weight to choke my son.”

According to court records, Mack was convicted in February for possession of marijuana.

Live 5 News reached out to the Berkeley County School District to find out why he was still allowed to work for the school district given the previous charge. A spokeswoman told the TV station that, “If the district was aware of a drug conviction, they would not have kept the employee.”

Mack has already gone before a judge in bond court. He was given a $1,087 surety bond.

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Nikki Gaskins Campbell

Nikki Gaskins Campbell is an Emmy-nominated journalist with more than a decade of experience covering news. She is a graduate of the University of South Carolina with a degree in broadcast journalism.
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