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Published: Friday, 7/27/2007

Bus driver pleads guilty to slapping 8-year-old

FINDLAY A former substitute bus driver for Blanchard Valley Center pleaded guilty in Findlay Municipal Court Wednesday to misdemeanor assault for slapping an 8-year-old boy with brain injuries.

Michael Harpst, 60, was placed in a diversion program by Judge Robert Fry and ordered to complete 25 hours of community service, have no other criminal offenses, and pay court costs and a $50 supervision fee. If he successfully completes the program, the charge would be dismissed.

Mr. Harpst admitted to authorities that he slapped the youngster after the boy had spit in his face Oct. 13.

Blanchard Valley officials said they did not employ Mr. Harpst as a substitute driver after the incident.

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