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SC bus driver and 1 other arrested after confrontation in front of students on board

A confrontation between a school bus driver and another woman in front of students aboard a bus could have turned violent, according to the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office.

Both women were arrested, but no threats were made to use firearms.

Early Wednesday morning, Sumter County Dispatch received a report of someone boarding a school bus without permission and confronting the driver while students were on board, officials said.

They said Shapoleon Sheqveia Hayward, 29, of Sumter refused to get off the bus after being asked to leave multiple times.

Hayward allegedly yelled at the bus driver, Janaya Mitchell, 27, of Sumter. Witnesses told investigators that Hayward “manipulated the controls of the bus” and removed the keys from the ignition before throwing them in a vacant lot.

Mitchell also shouted threats while standing outside the bus, officials said.

According to the sheriff’s office, witnesses heard Hayward and Mitchell each call someone on the phone and invite them to “come and discharge their firearms on the bus.”

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By the time emergency services responded to the call, Hayward and Mitchell had walked away from the bus.

An investigation confirmed witness statements, officials said.

“This is intolerable,” Sheriff Anthony Dennis said in a statement. “We will do everything in our power to protect our children and school staff from outrageous behavior like this. It is inexcusable and shameful.”

Arrest warrants were obtained for Hayward and Mitchell and both were turned over to investigators Thursday. The pair were arrested and charged with disrupting the operation of a school bus and aggravated breach of the peace. They were both taken to the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office Detention Center and released after posting $10,000 bail.

It is unclear if or how Hayward and Mitchell knew each other before the incident.

The Sumter County Sheriff’s Office is still investigating.

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