Fresno second grader blinded by rock thrown at bus

September 7, 2012 12:16:10 AM PDT
Police are looking for a teenager who threw a rock at a Fresno school bus and hit a 7-year-old boy in the eye.

The second grader at Norseman Elementary school was blinded and he's been in the hospital since getting hit Wednesday afternoon. He was struck right while his bus turned onto Sierra Vista from Shields in southeast Fresno.

Witnesses tell police they saw a teenager on a bike toss a piece of asphalt or a rock at the school bus. Officers don't believe the teen was targeting anyone, but the rock got through the window and left a little boy blinded, at least for now.

Sarah Trejo made the long walk to the entrance of Community Regional Medical Center Thursday at the time she's usually picking up her 7-year-old son, Adam Rivera.

The second grader was about a block from his bus stop Wednesday. As his bus turned in front of Scandinavian Middle School, a rock blindsided him in the left eye. Trejo found her son a few minutes later.

"His eye was shut and he was crying blood," she said. "It was just blood dripping out of his eye."

Trejo could barely speak about what she saw, and she's frustrated that investigators with Fresno Unified and Fresno police don't have answers to a lot of her questions.

FUSD transportation director Ralph Meza told Action News it's a terrible situation -- unlike anything he's ever seen -- but he says the random attack would've been very hard to stop without closing all the bus windows, which is uncomfortable this time of year.

"That's natural for all the windows to be down on these buses, you know, during the hot weather, especially when it's 110 because that's the only ventilation they have," he said.

"This bus was following all the safety rules?" a reporter asked him.

"That's correct," he said. "At all times."

Adam Rivera spent Thursday recovering from eye surgery. Doctors needed 15 stitches to repair his left iris. Now, they'll wait for the swelling to go down before checking his eyesight. As far as his mother is concerned, it might be the most important test he'll take all school year.

"Hopefully he'll see something," Trejo said. "He won't go blind."

Fresno Unified had crisis psychologists on the campus of Norseman Thursday. One of the first kids they talked to was Adam's best friend, who was on the bus next to him Wednesday afternoon. Thursday morning, he refused to get on the bus at all.


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