A bus driver who allegedly kept a student on his bus for too long and told her he loved her before taking her to school turned himself in Tuesday evening.
According to the Brusly Police Department, bus driver Christopher Taplin, 33, was supposed to deliver a 13-year-old middle school student to school Monday morning. Instead, Taplin let other students off and kept her on the bus well after he was supposed to drop her off.
Officers said Taplin told the student he loved her while she was held on the bus alone, then dropped her off at Brusly Middle School.
Brusly Police said on Wednesday that Taplin had also left a voice message with the girl’s family declaring he loved her and said he’d been watching her since she started attending middle school.
Brusly High School student Layla Green isn’t much older than the victim.
“Originally, I was scared for the little girl to be kidnapped like that…the last one on the bus. I would hate to be the last one on the bus, and you wouldn’t expect that and I expect more out of people especially a grown man,” Green said.
Brusly Police Chief Jon LeFeaux said the department is speaking with two other families who were close with Taplin through other students on his bus route.
“This incident has left many people in shock as Taplin was very well liked in the community,” the department said in a statement Wednesday
Green says she knows people who rode on his bus.
“A lot of my teammates and classmates rode his bus and they wouldn’t expect that from him. They were really shocked about it and it just goes to show you that you don’t know what a persons intentions are you will never know”
Taplin is facing charges of kidnapping, false imprisonment, and stalking a juvenile. Police said Taplin operated a bus for the West Baton Rouge School System but did not work directly for the school system. He was fired from the bus service he worked for.
If anyone has information regarding Taplin or the investigation, the BPD encourages them to call the department.