OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – What started as a typical bus ride home for students from Shawnee Mission West High School on Wednesday resulted in one of those students facing a judge and a felony on Thursday.
The bus left after school dismissed at 2:40, and about an hour later, at 90th and Alden, Lenexa police got a call that there was a student on the bus with a knife. Andreas F. Rodriguez was arrested for allegedly threatening another student while showing a knife, and charged with aggravated assault.
His family spoke with FOX 4, and stuck up for him, explaining what they thought happened.
"He didn't even get a chance to go home, he was still riding the bus when they got him,” sister Alejandra Rodriguez said.
Police say Rodriguez got into an argument with another student on the bus and pulled a knife. His sister says he has a hard time with impulse control.
"He's a special kid, he has been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome and ADHD,” she said.
Police say although Rodriguez threatened the student, he was never close enough to do anything and no one was hurt in the incident; something that makes sense to his family.
"He threatens and he gets mad, but it's just words, like he never does actions. He never hits, he never does anything to people,” Alejandra said.
Rodriguez faces jail time if he’s convicted of aggravated assault. That punishment is separate from any that might be handed down from the Shawnee Mission School District.
The school district released a statement saying:
“On Wednesday afternoon, a bus transporting students for the Shawnee Mission School District called dispatch due to a report of a student with a knife on the bus. The bus driver followed protocol. Lenexa Police responded and reportedly took an 18-year-old student who is a senior at SM West into custody. Law enforcement will follow their processes. The district will be reviewing the police report and information regarding the incident to determine appropriate action in accordance with district policy.”
Rodriguez’s sister says the knife was a gift.
"He likes carving like wood, so he told us I need one, but we didn't think he was going to take it to school or anything. We warned him not to take it to school or anything. So those are consequences,” Alejandra said.
Rodriguez is in jail, being held on a $3,500 bond and is due in court again on May 14.