The now-suspended school bus driver was not only behind the wheel but he was also allegedly under the influence of cannabis.
While boarding the bus for a field trip, Chelmsford High students figured something was up, when the bus they were boarding smelled like weed. The driver smelled like weed, too. Plus, he also had bloodshot eyes and was extremely unsteady on his feet.
And when you factor in that he was unable to communicate properly, well, you can see why someone decided to blow the whistle on the driver, who witnesses said had been seen smoking a cigarette, which they weren’t sure was a joint or just a cigarette.
After letting a teacher know, the principal was notified, who removed the students from the bus. Then, along with other administrators, the principal boarded the bus and found the distinct smell of weed.
Once officers arrived, it was determined that 63-year-old Ali Mahfuz was indeed under the influence of cannabis.
While I commend students and staff of taking immediate action, knowing right away that the person wasn’t fit to be behind the wheel of that bus. I am also astonished over the lack of proper commonsense [and] decision-making that this person failed to make. – Chelmsford Police Chief James Spinney.
Later that day, the Chelmsford Superintendent alerted parents about the police investigation, in a letter that read:
The marijuana odor was emanating from the school bus driver. The school bus driver was placed under arrest at the scene… the action of this bus driver are completely unacceptable. – Jay Land, Ed. D. Chelmsford Supt.
After his arraignment, Mahfuz was released on probation personal recognizance, along with being suspended from his job, which he’d held for three years.