By J. PATRICK PEPPER
HEIGHTS — A bus driver for Westwood Community Schools was cited for violating his concealed weapon permit and removed from the district’s busing schedule after a principal noticed a handgun in the man’s coat at Robichaud High School.
At about 1:45 p.m. Feb. 18, Daly Elementary School principal Glen Taylor reported seeing a gun on the person of Lawrence Gary, 37, of Detroit. Taylor said he saw the gun from outside the driver’s bus, and when he asked him about it, Gary denied it.
After getting on to another bus, Taylor said, Gary placed the gun into a book bag. Taylor called police and grabbed the bag to wait for them to arrive.
When police arrived, they took the bag and found a 9-mm, ultra-compact Bersa Thunder loaded with 11 bullets. Police confiscated the weapon and cited Gary, who had a permit for the gun, for carrying the weapon on school grounds.
He is employed by DHT Transportation, a private company contracted by the district to provide busing service.
In Michigan, the first offense for a concealed weapon permit violation is a civil infraction, carrying a $500 fine and a six-month permit suspension.
Calls to Westwood Community Schools officials were not returned, but school district attorney Anthony Guerriero said the matter has been resolved.
“We spoke with the company we told them this is unacceptable, we don’t allow this kind of thing here, and he won’t be allowed to drive the Westwood district anymore,” Guerriero said.
A DHT official confirmed that Gary had been removed from the district’s schedule, but said it was all a misunderstanding.
“Mr. Gary is a firearms instructor for the Wayne County Sherriff’s Department,” company spokesman Oliver Hardin said.
“He had some things to do downtown before his route that he needed his gun with him for, and he forgot to take it off. By the time he realized it was too late.”