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DECATUR — A Decatur man who went on a school bus to confront a young boy he said was bullying his girlfriend’s daughter was sentenced to 30 months in prison Thursday.

Traveon L. Hood, 25, had pleaded guilty in Macon County Circuit Court to a charge of aggravated battery. He had accepted a plea deal negotiated by his public defender, Michelle Sanders, that saw a charge of vehicular invasion, another aggravated battery count and a charge of criminal trespass dropped and capped any sentence imposed at three years.

A sworn affidavit from Decatur police about the case said the incident occurred on the morning of Nov. 12 on the number 14 Alltown Bus Service bus. It was headed to Durfee Magnet School and loaded with kids aged between 6 and 8.

Police Officer J. Briar Weddle said Hood had boarded the bus twice, forcing his way past the driver while making threats to “hit the kid that hit his daughter.”

Weddle added: The driver "stated he did not want the man to confront the students and believed their safety was in jeopardy.”

The affidavit said Hood had tried to get on the bus a third time but on this occasion the driver was able to close the door and shut him out.

Sanders called Hood’s relative and friend, Gayla Cooper, to give evidence on his behalf, and she described him as a caring man whose approach to the bullying problem “could have been a little different.”

Hood’s girlfriend, and the mother of the bullied girl, testified that Hood was just trying to stop a severe bullying problem on the bus that repeatedly left her daughter in tears and made her life a misery.

Sanders had pleaded for a non-custodial sentence but, imposing the prison term, Judge Thomas Griffith ruled that “a sentence of probation would deprecate the seriousness of the defendant’s conduct.”

2019 mug shots from the Herald & Review 

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Contact Tony Reid at (217) 421-7977. Follow him on Twitter: @TonyJReid

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