A New Hampshire school bus driver was charged with interstate harassment in federal court on Monday.
Michael Chick, 39, of Eliot, Maine, was arrested Friday night in Eliot, officials said. He appeared in federal court in New Hampshire on Monday and was ordered to remain in custody pending an August 18 detention hearing.
The allegations against Chick involve alleged threats and harassment of an 8-year-old boy attending Greenland Central School, where Chick drives a school bus. According to a criminal complaint filed in federal court in New Hampshire, Chick gave the boy gifts, including two prepaid cell phones in a Pokémon lunch box.
Chick allegedly coerced the boy, known only as AC, into lying to his parents about their phone contact, the complaint states. AC’s parents discovered the phones in the lunchbox while they were cleaning his room and reported them to the Greenland Police Department on July 2.
Months earlier, AC’s parents reported Chick to school officials for regularly giving gifts to the boy and his sister, as well as inviting himself to AC’s Little League game.
“When the children were away from school, Mike would leave letters for them at the residence saying how much he missed them,” the complaint read.
AC’s parents asked the school to transfer their son to another school bus, and Chick was explicitly told by officials that he should have no further contact with AC or his family.
Police obtained a search warrant for Chick’s car on August 2. They found items such as children’s underwear, candy-flavored alcohol, duct tape, rubber gloves and another prepaid cell phone.
They also searched Chick’s residence and bedroom, identified by his mother, Judith Chick. Authorities found several sexually explicit and threatening notes addressed to AC “containing handwritten instructions on how to keep a secret, especially from parents, teachers and the police so that your family is not killed.”
Court documents say the notes ordered the recipient, presumably AC, to take photos of himself in his underwear from different angles on the cellphone, as well as giving “additional credit” for “a video of any what you would consider wicked”. Most of the notes were written on school bus clearance slips.
Authorities also found several computer-generated documents on Chick’s devices containing threatening language, such as “You’ve had too many chances. It does not work. We’re done [expletive] around. Make it happen now or the child disappears.
Chick arrived at AC’s residence at 8 p.m. that evening and was met by police and Homeland Security agents. Chick told investigators he placed GPS trackers on each of AC’s parents’ vehicles, among other admissible evidence of harassment, threats and harassment of the child. He also admitted that he had been to AC’s home between six and ten times the previous night “just to walk around”.
Greenfield Police passed this information on to AC’s family, who were “extremely upset and fearful for the safety of their family”, the complaint reads. The family did not believe it was safe to stay in their home and currently reside in ‘another location’.
Chick’s case has been investigated by the Greenland Police Department, the Eliot, Maine Police Department, the New Hampshire Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and the Department of Homeland Security. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Kasey Weiland.
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