Children’s home staffer accused of setting up, allowing attack of student on bus

BERKS COUNTY — A staff member of a children’s home in Berks County is accused of setting up and allowing the attack of a juvenile on a school bus to happen.

The Berks County District Attorney’s Office filed charges Monday against Bethany Children’s Home staff member Lamar Miller. Charges include: aggravated assault, solicitation to commit aggravated assault, conspiracy to commit aggravated assault, simple assault, solicitation to commit simple assault, conspiracy to commit simple assault, and endangering the welfare of children.

District Attorney John Adams noted that Miller is aware of the charges but he has not turned himself in.

The incident occurred Monday morning as the school bus was arriving at Conrad Weiser High School in Heidelberg Township.

Surveillance video and audio footage from the bus captured the moments before, during and after the incident. The Heidelberg Township Police Department chief viewed the footage.

In the video, a juvenile was observed talking to Miller, near the rear of the bus, prior to the attack. That same juvenile then left his seat, walked up the center aisle and unsuspectingly punched the 15-year-old victim in the right side of the head, according to court documents. The juvenile continued to strike him in the upper torso and head area. The victim then attempted to kick his attacker as he slid down on the seat.

That’s when Miller intervened. The chief, who watched the footage, said, “Miller feigned an effort to hold (the juvenile) back slightly with his right hand” before saying, “Chill, Chill.”

After that attack, another youth came up to the rear of the victim’s seat, leaned over and punched him in the head, court documents state. The juvenile then climbed over the seat and stomped on what appears to be the victim’s head four times as he slid off onto the floor. At that point, Miller allegedly told the victim “not to press charges and to let it go.”

The victim, who has swelling and abrasions on his face and head, spoke with the officer after being released from Reading Hospital.

The victim told the police chief that Miller accused him of stealing his cell phone sim card on Saturday, March 24 and that he was going to have him beat up, court documents add.

Another staff member of Bethany Children’s Home also spoke with the chief, stating that Miller had, in fact, threatened that the victim would be beat up on the bus Monday for stealing his property.