New Hampshire school bus driver accused of stalking 8-year-old boy and his family
By Benjamin Schiller, CNN
A New Hampshire school bus driver was arrested and federally charged with interstate stalking, after he allegedly stalked and threatened an eight-year-old boy whom he regularly drove to school, according to a statement from the US Attorney’s Office in New Hampshire.
Michael Chick, 39, of Eliot, Maine, is also being accused of threatening the child’s family and traveling across state lines to make the alleged threats, according to the statement.
The boy’s family alleges that Chick gave their son two Tracfone cell phones, according to court documents obtained by CNN. Chick later admitted to providing the child with three phones, documents show. Chick also allegedly requested that the boy take inappropriate pictures of himself and send the photos to him, documents show.
During a police investigation, Chick told officers that he placed cellular GPS tracking devices on each of the child’s parents’ vehicles, documents show. Chick also told police he visited the child’s “residence between 6 — 10 times during the night just to walk around the house,” court documents show, citing the police investigation.
On August 5, the day of Chick’s arrest, the child provided his family with additional details on Chick’s alleged behavior toward him, court records show. In an interview with police that day, the boy claimed Chick talked with him about an organization called “The Team,” documents show. The boy said Chick told him “The Team” would kidnap and torture the child if he did not meet their demands, according to the documents.
The parents first alerted their son’s school, Greenland Central School, in April about alleged comments and actions from Chick, including giving small gifts and candy to children and leaving get-well cards saying how much he missed them when they were absent, documents show.
CNN has reached out to the office of the superintendent of the Portsmouth School District for comment.
A spokesperson for the bus company First Student told CNN on Friday that Chick is no longer employed there. In a statement, the bus company said, “Behavior such as this is completely unacceptable and at odds with what we stand for as a company.” It added, “We are cooperating with the authorities and given that this is an active investigation, we are unable to comment further.”
Chick had an initial appearance hearing on Monday and was ordered to be detained until at least his detention hearing, according to court documents. Chick is scheduled for a preliminary hearing and detention hearing on August 18.
Chick’s public defender, Behzad Mirhashem, declined to comment on his behalf.
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