Video shows Rapid driver stop bus to quiet child with autism

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Video has been released to FOX 17 showing an incident on a Rapid bus where a driver refused to move the vehicle until a woman's six-year-old son with autism quieted down.

Surveillance video of the Monday ride shows the driver park, walk to the back of the bus and confront Porcha Silas and her three young children.

"Ma'am... if he makes noise, this bus is not gonna go nowhere," the driver can be heard saying to Silas.

The confrontation happened at about 3:30 p.m. Monday on a Rapid bus behind the YMCA in Grand Rapids, after Silas' son was making noises on and off for about 20 seconds at a time.  Silas then tells the driver her son has autism and is nonverbal.

In the video, you also see the driver walk and point, frustrated at the mother.  The driver then gets off the bus for about 10 minutes and motions for what appears to be a supervisor to come talk with him.  On the video you can also hear several riders standing up for Silas and her child, with some calling the situation ridiculous and other leaving the bus to talk with the driver.

FOX 17 sat down with Silas earlier this week. She said the driver had no right to single out her child, who was seated safely and making noises.

"I just feel disrespected," she said. "And like I said at the end of the day, I just feel like I shouldn’t have been discriminated because my son has special needs... I depend on public transportation every day to take me and my kids from point A to point B. And I shouldn’t be discriminated because my son is yelling."

FOX 17 reached out to Rapid officals to ask what, if any, action they're taking because of this incident.  They said they're unable to speak about internal affairs.

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