An incident involving approximately 30 to 35 Little Cypress-Mauriceville High School students and close to 15 students from a Lake Jackson High School area led to the arrest of two charter bus drivers and one LC-M student for alcohol-related charges.
According to Kemah Police Chief Greg Rikard, emergency dispatch received a medical call at about 6:20 p.m. Saturday, April 5, in reference to someone ill on a private charter bus in Kemah. When first responders got to the scene, what they saw there shocked them, Rikard said. They found a bus full of students in what appeared to be prom attire reeking with the smell of alcohol. That’s when the police stepped in.
“At that time, we took control of the scene,” said Rikard. “We gathered up all the kids and transported them to the fire department.”
Rikard said the bus was privately owned. One of the students, 17-year-old Ashley Meadows, was arrested on disorderly conduct and minor in possession of alcohol charges, both Class C misdemeanors, Rikard said, after becoming “belligerent and combative.” The bus driver, 24-year-old Jacob Shears, was arrested and charged with providing alcohol to minors, a Class A misdemeanor.
While police were dealing with the first incident, they received a call reporting a similar situation at the boardwalk. They were told there was another group of close to 15 students reportedly from Brazoswood High School in Clute near Lake Jackson also intoxicated on a charter bus.
“We did the same thing,” Rikard said. “We picked up the students, transported them to the fire station and contacted their parents.”
The driver of the smaller charter bus listed as property of Grand Transportation of Houston, 51-year-old Rachad Tadekh, was arrested on providing alcohol to minors charges.
Both bus drivers told police they did not know the students were in possession of alcohol, but Rikard said the strong smell of alcohol exuding from the buses made their claims preposterous.
“First responders immediately smelled the scent of alcohol on the buses,” Rikard said.
According to him, his officers’ first priorities were the students.
“Our main objective was to get those kids in a contained and safe environment and back to their parents,” Rikard asserted.
Rikard said not all of the students on the buses were drinking. He also indicated that two parents left anonymous messages thanking him for his office’s actions relating to the incidents, and he expect that the students who were not arrested but were caught with alcohol will face stiff consequences at home.
LC-M CISD is still looking into the incident, according to correspondence from Community Relations Coordinator Sherry Combs.
“Little Cypress-Mauriceville CISD is concerned with the safety and well-being of all students,” Combs related via email correspondence. “The situation is under investigation and LC-M will comply with state laws and District policies.”
The student reported to have been ill on the LC-M charter bus was taken to a medical facility for treatment, which was not related to alcohol, police report.