Update: Patch has confirmed that Robert Stundis, the Bohemia man arrested in Ronkonkoma yesterday for DWI while operating a school mini-bus, drove for The Three Village School District's contracted bus company, Acme.
The school district released the following statement regarding Stundis' arrest:
"Late this afternoon the district was notified that a bus driver working for our contract bus company – Acme Bus Company – was arrested last night and charged with DWI.
Earlier in the day yesterday he was driving a mini-bus in our district. Thankfully, no district children were on the bus at the time of the arrest nor were any children injured as a result of the driver's careless actions.
We are completely horrified by these allegations and have made personal contact with parents of the children who were on the bus to share the information we have been told by bus company and law enforcement representatives. Our students' safety has and continues to be of utmost importance to us. I assure you that we are taking this matter very seriously and we will continue to work with members of the police department during their investigation."
According to a Newsday report, an Acme Bus Company representative said Stundis has been suspended without pay from his job at Acme Bus Company, where he has worked for 10 years. He was arraigned at First District Court in Central Islip on Thursday and is being held on $25,000 cash bail or $100,000 bond, according to the report.
Police say Stundis, 48, of Bohemia was driving a Ford mini-bus on the westbound lanes of the LIE at around 4:45 p.m. when police stopped him just east of Exit 60 in Ronkonkoma. When Sheriffs Creter and Carlo stopped him, they administered a series of sobriety tests and determined that he was intoxicated. A breathalyzer revealed a blood-alcohol content of .23.
No children were on board the bus at the time of Stundis' arrest, however Stundis did admit that he had dropped off students from a middle school earlier in the day. Police also discovered an open bottle of vodka on the bus.
Stundis is facing charges of Aggravated DWI. In a statement, Sheriff Vincent F. DeMarco said the fact that Stundis was responsible for transporting children made the crime all the more egregious.
"When we entrust our children to the care of others, we expect more; Mr. Stundis will be held accountable for violating that trust," DeMarco stated.