School Bus Dispatcher Suspended With Pay for Allegedly Driving Getaway Car in Armed Robbery

By Lyneka Little

Feb 24, 2012 12:01pm

A Florida school bus dispatcher was suspended after she was arrested for being the alleged getaway driver for a bank robbery, authorities said.

“I’m not guilty,” Sharon Reynolds-Bell told WFTV.com. “And that’s all I have to say, according to my lawyer.”

Reynolds-Bell, a dispatcher for the Orange County School District in Titusville, was placed on what’s called “relief of duty with pay,” pending a school board meeting scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 28, when officials will request a vote by the board to suspend Reynolds-Bell’s pay, according Shari Bobinski, a spokesperson for Orange County Public Schools.

The bus dispatcher is fending off charges for her role in a robbery at TD Bank, according to police. According to WFTV, since being suspended with pay, Reynolds-Bell is paid $17.20 per hour .

“The Titusville Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Division was conducting a robbery detail at the TD Bank after a suspicious person entered the bank on Friday, January 27,” Sgt. Erick Barrett said in a statement. “During that detail one of our detectives noticed Bell’s vehicle driving through the area and they made some notes on the vehicle and the occupants.”

Yet Bell’s vehicle did not actually pique police interest that day. They were looking into another suspicious person, whom they then cleared as a suspect on Saturday.

But on Sunday, when the TD Bank was robbed, an observant witness drew police attention back to Reynolds-Bell.

“A witness noticed the robbery suspect get into the passenger side of the get-a-way vehicle and drove off,” according to Barrett’s statement.

After obtaining a search warrant, the Titusville police department found evidence at Reynolds-Bell’s home, including the getaway vehicle.

Reynolds-Bell and her husband Johnny Bell allegedly confessed to police after being read their Miranda rights. Her husband is still in jail on a $150,000 bond for robbery and grand theft.

Reynolds-Bell was arrested for principle robbery and grand theft but official charges have not been filed.

“We have filed the plea of not guilty,”  said Stephen Mays, Reynolds-Bell’s attorney. “We’re looking forward to litigating these factors.”

Reynolds-Bell “is adamantly denying the allegations and adamantly denying that she had any involvement in this situation,” Mays told ABC News.

“She does not have any firearms or weapons on her. We believe this is an issue of overzealous prosecution and overzealous actions by the Titusville police department.”

“We’ll be able to prove she had no involvement in this. The fact that they have not filed charges yet means they’re still investigating this case,” Mays said.

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