Man accused of punching, shattering NJ school bus window in fit of road rage

Man accused of punching, shattering NJ school bus window in fit of road rage
The suspect in the incident, 18-year-old Keith Hallbauer, was charged with one count of criminal mischief and released on summons with a pending court date. (Source: Howell Township Police Department/WABC/CNN)

HOWELL TOWNSHIP, NJ (WABC/CNN) - An 18-year-old in New Jersey has been charged with criminal mischief after he allegedly yelled and cursed at a school bus driver in a fit of road rage then punched out the bus window in front of several children.

Bus driver Kathy Anderson says the incident started the afternoon of April 19 when she was making a left turn in Howell Township, NJ. When she thought it was clear, she pulled out, but another driver had to slam on their brakes to avoid the bus.

“As I did that, a car was coming up the road, and the driver locked up the brakes, so the car kind of fish-tailed a little bit,” Anderson said.

The car’s passenger, later identified as 18-year-old Keith Hallbauer, approached the bus on the driver’s side. Anderson says the man yelled and cursed at her before punching a window and causing it to shatter.

Even with 32 years’ experience driving children to and from school, Anderson says the situation caught her off guard, and it definitely scared the handful of students, between ages 5 and 8, still on board.

“He punched that window with force. It caught me off guard,” Anderson said. "I didn’t expect it, and I got choked up a little bit. I got a little scared, so the kids on the bus got scared. He was mean. They were crying.”

Police were called, and eventually, another bus took the frightened elementary school students home.

Investigators reviewed surveillance video to identify Hallbauer, who turned himself in Wednesday after detectives contacted him about his involvement in the incident.

Hallbauer was charged with one count of criminal mischief and released on summons with a pending court date.

Police say the driver of the car is not accused of any crimes.

Copyright 2019 WABC, Howell Township Police Department via CNN. All rights reserved.