Bus driver accused of drinking has rocky record
CLINTON, Mass. (WHDH) -- School bus driver, Michael Tantillo, is accused of drunk driving with a student from Clinton on board.
Now a check of his driving record shows seven pages full of speeding citations and other violations. According to the Registry of Motor Vehicles, Tantillo did not even have a license to operate a Ride Rite-Medi Van out of Leominster.
The registry had denied his application because of his record.
This came to light on Wednesday when police said he was almost three hours late dropping off a student from the Perkins school for the blind.
“One of our officers went to the house and made several phone calls to driver. He was very evasive. He hung up the phone a couple of times. Our concern elevated at that point,” said Sgt. Tom Nelson, Clinton police.
As police were starting to track him with his cell phone, they said he pulled up in the van with the child and that's when police said they realized he was under the influence.
Tantillo told police that he was stuck in traffic, but police said there was none.
Tantillo was charged with operating under the influence and kidnapping. His dad told 7news his son had problems in the past but he's not a monster.
“I can tell you one thing. He is not a kidnapper. He may have done some things in the past that may have not been the greatest things. He’s had some problems with addictions and he’s paid for those problems,” said the driver’s father, Sal Tantillo.
The bus company said the driver has been fired but they are unwilling to further discuss their hiring process.