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The Daily Tar Heel

Bus Driver Arrested For Assault

Natasha Garnetta Snipes, 22, of 6108 Green Hollow Lane in Durham came to the Chapel Hill Police Department on Monday evening after being notified about the outstanding warrants.

She was charged with two misdemeanor counts of assault with a dangerous weapon and vandalism to personal property. In addition to the charges, Snipes was ordered to avoid contact with the victim, a 22-year-old female.

Reports state that the incident happened at 6:18 p.m Sunday at Gomains Avenue and Sykes Street in Chapel Hill.

"The victim reported she got into an argument with Snipes that escalated into a physical altercation," said Jane Cousins, Chapel Hill police spokeswoman.

Cousins said the victim reported that Snipes then kicked the right rear door of the victim's 1996 Dodge Stratus, causing $150 worth of damage.

"Then (the victim) said that Snipes pulled out a pistol and pointed it at her," Cousins said.

Reports state that the suspect pointed a gun at the victim's head, causing minor injury. The extent of the injury is not known, and a spokesman with UNC Hospitals said the hospital's records did not indicate that the victim had sought treatment.

The pistol was black and gray in color, Cousins said.

The victim then went to the police department to swear out warrants for Snipes.

After turning herself in, Snipes was held at Orange County Jail on a $500 unsecured bond.

Snipes' court date is set for May 5 at the Orange County District Court in Hillsborough.

Mary Lin Truelove, the school system's transportation director, said the matter, which is classified as a personnel issue, is still under investigation.

Truelove said new employees will not be hired if they have a felony record. She also said any charges that show up on a background check are investigated fully.

The system employs 76 bus drivers who operate 55 different buses.

"You cannot have a felony record or criminal activity. Each record is reviewed," she said. "Of course we do criminal record checks."

Truelove said that to her knowledge, Snipes has not had any prior run-ins with authorities.

Truelove said Snipes has been employed by the system for about three or four years and refused to comment on her future employment with the system.

"We've never had any problems."

The City Editor can be reached at citydesk@unc.edu.

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