Bus driver arrested after leaving 5-year-old on bus for hours

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NEW BRITAIN - A bus driver in New Britain was arrested for leaving a child on a school bus for several hours.

On Wednesday, police say a mother of a Smith Elementary School student got a call her 5-year-old son had been marked absent, but she had put him on the bus at 8:40am.

New Britain police began investigating the missing child. School administrators reached out to the bus company DATTCO, which confirmed the child was picked up that morning.

They later found the boy still asleep on the bus parked in the bus lot.

"While checking that bus they found the child behind the last seat. [He] apparently had been sleeping for several hours," said Captain Thomas Steck of the New Britain Police Dept.

Police arrested Shamowl Evans on Friday. He's charged with risk of injury to a minor.

Police believe the boy was left on the bus for 3 hours and 40 minutes total. Due to the hot temperatures, he was taken to a nearby hospital to be evaluated. Police say he's doing fine.

During their investigation, police learned DATTCO does have safety policies in place to ensure this doesn't happen, but this driver didn't follow them.

Capt. Steck said, "Had policy and procedure been followed, the child would have been located substantially quicker and gotten off the bus at school ."

A spokesperson for DATTCO released a statement to FOX CT saying:

"DATTCO has a longstanding excellent safety record across Connecticut, and is concerned first and foremost with the safety of every child we transport.  We are cooperating closely with New Britain school officials and local law enforcement personnel to fully investigate this incident.  The driver remains on suspension pending the outcome of the investigation.  Our entire company will continue to focus on the safe transportation of our passengers.”