Thurston school bus driver charged with assault for allegedly hitting 6-year-old

A Thurston County school bus driver has been charged for fourth degree assault for allegedly hitting a six-year-old.

The child’s mother sent KIRO 7 video of the encounter in late October. In it, you can see the driver close the bus door, walk towards the child, and swat him in the back.

The bus driver, now identified in charging documents as William Maibauer, has worked for the Thurston County School District since 2020. He was initially placed on leave during the investigation into the incident.

Maibauer has since been reassigned on several conditions. That includes retraining on disciplining students without physical intervention, and retaking the district’s driver training program. He must also report any behavioral issues on the bus to a supervisor.

If convicted, Maibauer could face up to 364 days in jail and a $5,000 fine. Fourth degree assault can broadly entail any level of unwanted physical touching.