Vineland police arrested a school bus driver for mistakenly picking up a 4-year-old girl who attended a different school and then leaving her alone on an empty bus.

William L. Bartley, 33, of Vineland, was charged with endangering the welfare of a child, police said in a release.

The substitute bus driver for the Vineland school district, was driving for the D’Ippolito Elementary School on North Valley Avenue, and at about 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, he mistakenly picked up a 4-year-old child at Park Avenue and Sylvester Drive, police said.

The student was supposed to go to the Casimer M. Dallago Jr. Preschool Center on South Sixth Street, police said.

When the bus arrived at D’Ippolito school the child did not get off the bus, police said. Bartley then drove the bus to the Thomas W. Wallace Jr. Middle School on North Mill Road to complete his shift, police said. He went home without checking the bus, police said.

The child’s family had contacted the school when the family member who escorted the child was concerned the student got on the wrong bus, police said. The family contacted the Dallago center and when they realized the student didn’t arrive they contacted police and the department began searching for the student.

The child was located unharmed on the school bus about an hour later by district employees who also searched for the student, police said.

Bartley was released pending a court appearance.

Contact Joel Landau:

609-272-7215

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