Disturbing allegations against a school bus driver New Hampshire are under investigation.
Michael Chick, 39, of Eliot, Maine, was arrested Friday after a monthslong investigation. He is accused of stalking a young child and
Chick — who worked as a school bus driver for First Student in Greenland and Rye, New Hampshire — is now charged federally with interstate stalking.
Investigators say Chick had taken an interest in an 8-year-old boy and his sister while driving for Greenland Central School.
In April, their parents reported him to the school for giving the children gifts on the bus, including candy, toys and Pokemon paraphernalia. Then in July, court documents say they found two prepaid cellphones in a Pokemon lunchbox in the boy’s bedroom.
"This entire investigation started with parents being vigilant and being involved and plugged in with their child," Greenland Police Chief Tara Laurent said Wednesday. "If they hadn't come forward, I feel like other children would be in danger for years to come."
An investigation found that Chick had allegedly been in constant contact with the boy and had coerced him into taking inappropriate photos and videos of himself under the threat that he or his family would be abducted or killed if he didn’t.
Transcripts from audio recorded on Chick's bus show him talking to the boy about the prepaid phones, warning thechild not to let his parents see them.
The transcripts also appear to show Chick using threatening language involving unnamed other people, with phrases like "I'm doing everything I can to stop them from doing very bad things" and "I can't keep telling them that you forgot … I can't keep giving them excuses."
Authorities say Chick told the boy that the threats were coming from something he referred to as "The Team," an organization he said was comprised of between eight and 800 members. He allegedly claimed that if the child did not meet the demands of "The Team," it "would go to 'Plan B,' which would result in AC being kidnapped and tortured," read a criminal complaint filed in federal court in New Hampshire.
Police noted in the complaint that while the victim has not disclosed all of the demands Chick made of him, "he did relay that Chick asked him to make a video and that 'The Team' liked clothing and underwear."
After a search warrant was executed at Chick's home, police said they found handwritten notes with graphic sexual instructions, as well as "a series of notebook-lined paper containing handwritten instructions on keeping a secret, specifically from parents, teachers, and police officers in order for your family to not be killed."
Additionally, police said they found computer-generated documents with direct and specific threats. One photographed in the court document reads, "THIS IS NOT WORKING. WE ARE DONE F****** AROUND. MAKE THIS HAPPEN NOW OR THE KID DISAPPEARS." Another, which is not photographed, reads, "SAY GOODBYE. WE ARE DOING THIS. DO NOT RUN. DO NOT HIDE. WE KNOW WHERE TO GET YOU. YOU HAD TO HAVE KNOWN THIS DAY WAS COMING. YOU HAVE BEEN F UP WAY TOO MUCH. YOU HAVE FAILED TO MEET OUR DEMANDS."
"Let’s not forget that in their lives, this is an adult they're supposed to listen to, so they are in a position of power," Laurent said.
First Student called the alleged behavior "completely unacceptable" and said Chick is no longer employed by them.
“It’s definitely very unsettling but I’m glad that they figured it out," said Katie Johnson, parent and teacher.
“There are terrible things in the world," added parent Mel Monahan. "We have to always be prepared and be vigilant about paying attention to what is going on.”
Investigators are concerned there could be more victims. They’ve set up a hotline for parents to call to report any additional incidents involving Chick. That number is 603-722-1751.
Chick's mother, Judith, says she's upset with the case and claims what investigators have told her is "all lies."
"I'm not happy with the whole situation. I'm not happy with how this news is out there," Judith Chick said. "We know nothing because we're in the dark."
Chick is being held without bail pending a detention hearing on Aug. 18.