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Bus Driver pleads not guilty to hitting autistic teen

A former bus driver from MSAD 15 pleaded not guilty to hitting a student with autism despite security footage and a witness who say otherwise.

BIDDEFORD (NEWS CENTER Maine) — A former bus driver from MSAD 15 pleaded not guilty to hitting a student with autism despite security footage and a witness that say otherwise.

Raymond Files no longer drives bus for MSAD 15 which includes Gray and New Gloucester. He was fired after a witness and a security camera caught him striking a 19-year-old non-verbal boy who has autism.

Bradley Seavey was attending the Margaret Murphy Center, for Children, a special needs school. His mother, Melissa Seavey, says on a bus ride back to his group home in August 2018, Files asked her son to buckle his seatbelt when he saw the teenager spinning it- a common habit of Seavey's.

RELATED | Mom says more training needed after autistic son is allegedly assaulted on school bus

When Seavey continued to spin the seatbelt, Files reportedly hit him on the head.

An aide on the bus witnessed the incident and reported it to authorities. It was also caught by a security camera. Raymond Files was fired and then charged with misdemeanor assault.

Melissa Seavey says her son is just starting to act like himself again, however, the stress has caused his aggression to heighten and he stopped going to classes at Margaret Murphy last week. Seavey says a similar incident happened to her son when he was 11-years-old, saying an aide struck him, and this latest alleged incident worsened that fear for her son.

Another mother who lives in the same district says Files used duct tape and other improper restraints on her special needs son when rode the same bus.

If convicted, Files faces up to 364 days in prision and a $2,000 fine, a maximum punishment Seavey says she hopes Files sees.

Files has been appointed an attorney, he declined to talk to the media outside of Biddeford District Courthouse following his arraignment on Wednesday.