Connetquot schools: Unknown minibus driver tried to pick up 3 students

A minibus approached three middle school students at their bus stop in Ronkonkoma early Monday, according to a statement sent to parents or guardians the Connetquot Central School District.

News 12 Staff

Sep 12, 2022, 10:10 PM

Updated 584 days ago

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A minibus approached three middle school students at their bus stop in Ronkonkoma early Monday, according to a statement sent to parents or guardians the Connetquot Central School District.
The incident reportedly happened at 7:15 a.m. on Baeck Street when a male driver asked for one student by name and requested they get on the bus. He told them they would get to school faster if they went with him.
The students did not recognize the driver or the bus so they refused and the man drove away. A few minutes later, the students' assigned district bus picked them up and drove them to school.
The mother of one of the three students says she was yelling from her porch that they should not get on the strange bus.
"The bus driver said, 'No, no, come on boys get on my bus,'" says Kathy Gannon. "And I'm yelling from my driveway, 'Do not get on the bus - that is not your bus - do not get on.'"
The school district says that the minibus is not part of their fleet - and they are trying to figure out where it came from.
A man, who says he was one of the students' grandfather, tells News 12 he hopes the incident was a mix-up but can't help but wonder what could have happened if the children had gotten on the bus.
"Where we're at now as a society, anything is possible," he says. "Something like this - we've got to be vigilant."
Some parents also tell News 12 that they are not going to let them wait at the bus stop by themselves.
The driver of the minibus is described as a middle-aged, dark-skinned male with an accent. The students also reported the minibus had "Route 13" on the side.
A police report was made with the Suffolk County Police Department and district security was notified.
The Connetquot Central School District is urging parents to have a talk with their children about safety.


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