Some parents in Spring Hill are demanding answers after learning a former school bus driver is accused of following children, and they say the school downplayed the troubling accusations.
Police say a group of young students in the Cochran Trace community reported their former bus driver Melvin T. Martin, whom they called Mr. T, was following them around Wednesday evening and starting up conversation.
When they looked in his car, they say they spotted three guns, women's underwear and condoms.
"His appearance, he didn't have a shirt on, and he had a puppy in the car. We don't know if it was here for a reason," said Spring Hill Police Lt. Justin Whitwell.
"That's something wrong with somebody that would do this," said Bob Freeman, whose grandchildren attend Chapman's Retreat Elementary.
The next morning, Spring Station Middle and Chapman's Retreat Elementary schools were notified of the incident, and Chapman's Retreat was placed on a soft lockdown after a school resource officer saw a black Camaro that matched the description of Martin's car.
"I think as soon as the school resource officer found out about it, he acted on it," Freeman said.
Parents were called and an email went out about the brief lockdown, but after hearing details on social media, many are upset they weren't notified sooner by the school and in more detail.
After more reports came in, Spring Hill police arrested Martin on Thursday night for allegedly violating a previous order of protection charge. He was not allowed to have guns.
"We acted in a timely manner in the fact that we were able obtain information about Mr. Martin and take him into custody for an unrelated crime not involving the school system," Whitwell said. "When it involves juveniles we definitely always take quick action."
Martin, who had driven a bus in Williamson County for 11 years, was suspended without pay in November for what school district officials called unbecoming behavior and for misusing the bus radio.
As a part of Martin's suspension he was told in a written letter to stay away from all Williamson County properties and events, and not to communicate with students or staff.
He retired a month after that suspension, and no further action was taken.
The Chapman's Retreat administrators sent out another notice Friday about the lockdown and say things are now getting back to normal.
Martin remains jailed on a $150,000 bond.
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