Man Allegedly Swears at Bus Driver in Front of Student

Editor’s Note: Story below includes masked vulgarity

PORTSMOUTH, R.I. — A Portsmouth man allegedly unleashed a tirade full of swears at a bus driver in front of a student last week, according to Portsmouth police

Walter William Smith, 71, of 20 Bleu Lane, Portsmouth, was charged with disorderly conduct (offensive words at another) after allegedly swearing at a bus driver on Tuesday, Nov. 22. 

A Portsmouth police officer was called to the First Student Bus Terminal on Wednesday, Nov. 23, at 12:26 p.m. for a report of a vehicle passing a school bus with flashing red lights the previous day. The incident was recorded on video, according to police reports. Upon arrival, police spoke with the bus operator and the First Student manager.

The bus operator told police he was dropping off students in the area of Kubla Court when a dark-colored pickup truck pulled up alongside his bus while the lights were flashing red. A student was also attempting to cross the street in front of the bus at the time.

After the bus lights were turned off, the pickup truck pulled around the bus from the left side and then stopped in the lane of travel right in front of the bus, according to police reports.

The operator of the pickup truck, Smith, apparently exited his vehicle and approached the passenger side of the bus. The bus operator said he thought the driver was “coming to apologize…” and opened the door.

Smith allegedly began to yell profanities at the bus driver while a young female student was still on the bus. She sat a few rows behind the bus driver. 

The pickup truck driver allegedly then entered the bus and “continued on his profanity laced tirade,” according to police. The bus operator told police he believed the driver did not see the student. 

The bus driver told Smith to get off the bus on multiple occasions. Smith allegedly refused, but left after a few more minutes of yelling. 

After reviewing the video, police contacted Smith via telephone. When police told him they watched the entire incident on video, Smith allegedly said, “This is bulls***.”

Smith told police he was leaving for Florida in two days and “could not go to court anytime soon.” Police informed Smith they would date the summons accordingly to fit his schedule.

A court summons was delivered to Smith at his residence last week. 

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