Sex Offender Arrested Driving Private School Bus with Suspended License
Posted: October 26, 2015 – 1:25 PM
Sergeant Matthew Parks stopped a private school bus at 7:55 AM on Monday, October 26, 2015. The traffic stop occurred at 20th Avenue South and 51st Street.
The driver was identified as 57 year-old Arnette Harrington, a registered sexual offender. Harrington’s Florida driver’s license is not valid due to multiple suspensions and revocations for DUI and controlled substance charges.
Fourteen children ranging in age from 2 to 12 were riding the brown Ford passenger van with a magnetic sign on the door indicating D & Dee Transportation Services.
According to Sergeant Thomas Woodman, Public Information Officer of Gulfport Police Department, the children attend various schools, including Gulfport Elementary, Thurgood Marshall Middle, Fairmount Park Elementary, and Douglas Jamerson Elementary.
It is not clear how long Harrington has been driving for this bus service, but there is no indication at this point of any inappropriate conduct with any children according to police. Although Harrington is required to register as a sex offender, he is not under any type of court supervision or restrictions that would prohibit contact with children according to the press release.
He was charged with driving on a suspended or revoked license, and officers confiscated an illegal license plate that was on the vehicle. Parents of all children have been notified and alternate transportation arrangements were made for this morning. Today’s traffic stop was a follow up to an investigation that began last Friday afternoon when Sergeant Parks learned that Harrington had dropped off a five-year-old child at home and left him unattended. The child’s mother was unaware that the bus driver was a sex offender.
Gulfport Police will be cooperating with other government agencies regarding potential violations of commerce and public transportation regulations by Harrington and the D & Dee Transportation Service.
Harrington’s sex offender flyer can be seen HERE