Newport Police charged a 36-year-old North Providence man with driving with a suspended license and a warrant after he reportedly drove past four parked and loaded school buses flashing red lights behind Frank E. Thompson Middle School on Monday afternoon.
And, police said, Michael J. Lewis sideswiped three parked cars before fleeing the scene, but he was caught thanks to an alert school official keeping watch around dismissal time.
According to a police report, the school official told police the buses were parked along Central Street when a truck driven by Lewis came along and drove by without stopping.
The buses were clearly stopped with lights flashing and stop signs extended outwards. The bus drivers honked their horns in an attempt to get Lewis to stop, police said, and the school official stepped out into the roadway in an attempt to get Lewis to stop by yelling at him.
That's when Lewis reportedly struck the three cars, causing a variety of damage to each.
Lewis fled the scene but the school official wrote down his license plate and called police. A Middletown Police officer found the truck Lewis was driving heading south on Connell Highway towards Farewell Street a short time later.
Once stopped, police learned that Lewis had an outstanding warrant and a suspended license. Police also charged him with leaving the scene of an accident and cited him for passing four occupied school buses. Lewis is due to appear in court on March 18.