A convicted felon is facing charges that he attacked a school bus with children on board with a machete and a metal broom on Wednesday because it was using his driveway as a bus stop.
Ricardo Morales, 44, of Leominster, was arraigned Wednesday on a charge of assault with a dangerous weapon in connection with the incident. He was ordered held without bail pending a dangerousness hearing on Oct. 5.
Police told the Sentinel and Enterprise that Morales, who lives in a basement apartment at 101 Mechanic St., was upset that the bus was using the driveway to pick up kids on the sidewalk. The bus was headed to a special needs school in Worcester.
He allegedly approached the bus, raised the machete and broom as if to strike the kids, and struck the bus on the driver’s side window and on the hood. He then used the machete to hit the passenger compartment before returning to his home, according to police.
"When I looked out my window in the morning, all I saw was yelling," neighbor Ben Rosado said.
The bus driver, who was afraid, contacted police.
"He was just striking the bus," Leominster police Lt. Michael Ciccolini said. "He was very, very upset at the driver for parking in the private driveway."
No one was injured, but parents said the children on the bus were frightened by Morales' actions.
Nearby witnesses were able to identify Morales, and an arrest warrant was obtained shortly thereafter. He was in possession of a machete upon arrest.
According to the Sentinel and Enterprise, Morales had previously been charged in a 2016 home invasion in Fitchburg, during which he allegedly held a gun to the head of a 5-year-old child. Prosecutors said at the time that Morales was a member of the "Latin Kings" gang.