Mentally disturbed man verbally attacks school children on bus

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SLATER, Mo. -- A religious-rambling man is in police custody after approaching students on a school bus.

Around 3 p.m. on Wednesday, the suspect, later identified by police as 53-year-old Norman Forrester, arrived at Slater High School on a riding lawn mower and boarded a school bus while three students, one girl in kindergarten and two boys in middle school, were on board.

According to a police report from the Saline County Sheriff's Department, Forrester, who is a convicted felon out on parole for an assault charge, spoke "incoherently about God, the devil and a child."

Fortunately bus driver Jim Gochenour and other staff members were near-by when the incident took place.

“He just turned loose and he started hollering ‘Jesus is lord. The devil's going to do this, the devil's going to do that,’" said Gochenour, who says he, along with another bus driver and three coaches, rushed over to help protect the students from the alleged tyrant.

"I stood here, kind of like this and I had the other bus driver and the basketball coach, he was behind me. We just kind of held him," said Gochenour.

Police say Forrester never harmed the children, however he was restrained and transported him to an area hospital. En route to the hospital, the suspect reportedly stated he was "God" and "the devil," among other religious ramblings. Upon arrival at the jail, Police Chief Keith Wright said Forrester stated that he was going to "rape and kill the children."

"I have no idea what this guy was thinking,” said Chief Wright. "Thank goodness we got it under control."

At the hospital, doctors evaluated and sedated Forrester, and diagnosed him as mentally disturbed. He is currently being held in a Fulton, Missouri prison.

FOX 4's Robert Townsend spoke with Forester's brother, Robert Forrester, who said his brother was a Air Force veteran who had served in Desert Storm and is known to have mental issues.

"I understand police want to get him off the street, but I hope that they also get him the necessary help he needs," said Robert Forrester about his brother. He said his brother was a nice guy who would never intentionally harm a child.




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  • BL

    This was a serious story, so why was so much emphasis given on the riding lawnmower. If more investigating had been done (a simple question to ANYONE who lives in town) they would have known that was NOT unusual. You can ride a lawnmower, four-wheeler, or golf cart here legally at a fraction of the cost of starting up cars and trucks just to go across town.

  • D head

    What no one is telling out of the story is there was a heroic 13 year old boy aboard the bus that helped save those children from this man, too much emphasis on the bad in the world not the amazing young children that helped with the situation!

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