Brother, sister arrested in school bus fray

One threatened the driver and the other damaged a squad car, authorities say.

Published May 25, 2007

TAMPA - Sheriff's deputies arrested a pair of siblings Thursday afternoon and accused them of blocking a school bus that had 15 children aboard.

Monika Iverson, 23, and Jeremiah Iverson, 18, used a 2004 Ford Focus to halt the path of the bus after it dropped off their 16-year-old sister from Armwood High School in Seffner, sheriff's spokeswoman Debbie Carter said.

Jeremiah Iverson threatened the driver, 50-year-old Joan McPhaul, with a brick from outside the bus, Carter said.

McPhaul called deputies, who arrested the pair, of 11745 Pruett Road in Seffner. When they put Monika Iverson into the squad car, she kicked out the rear window and bent the door frame, Carter said.

When the deputies took her to the ground to secure her feet, Iverson cut her face on broken glass from the window, Carter said. Then, while Hillsborough County Fire Rescue treated her cuts, she spit in the face of a deputy, Carter said.

"It was a difficult situation, but the bus driver did her job. She let law enforcement handle it, " said Hillsborough schools spokesman Steve Hegarty.

A deputy posted at Armwood High to monitor the last day of the school year saw the pair's sister create a disturbance before she got on the bus, Carter said. The deputy followed the bus home and left when the girl got off without incident.

Then, Carter said, her older siblings detained the bus. Neither deputies nor school officials could say why the two were angry.

Both siblings were held at the Orient Road Jail on Thursday evening. Jeremiah Iverson faces charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and disrupting assembly.

Monika Iverson faces charges of criminal mischief, obstructing an officer with violence, disrupting assembly and two counts of battery on a law enforcement officer. Her criminal record includes four arrests on charges including aggravated battery, assault, trespassing and obstructing an officer without violence.

Michael A. Mohammed can be reached at mmohammed@sptimes.com or 813 226-3404.