This is a rush transcript from "On the Record ," April 2, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST: You saw the school bus girl from February 15. A female Arizona bus driver and two female students go at it. But now someone is being charged.
Here is the video from inside the bus. The blowout starts when a student demands she is let off the bus. The bus driver refuses. They start arguing. The driver takes the girl's cell phone and calls security.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You are not allowed to touch me, lady. I am getting off the bus.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You are not getting off the bus.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mom, the bus driver is touching me. Do not touch me again, lady. Stop touching me.
No one cares! Do you understanding? I do not care. I do not care. I want to get off the bus, and if you touch me again, I will sue you. Do you understand? Do you not know—
I am not touching you! You are touching me. Oh, my god. You punched me. You are crazy. You are crazy. You should not be allowed to drive this bus.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: —using self-defense.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I swear to god.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Help her!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In get off, get off. Get off! Get off! Get off! Get off me!
Oh, my god. Stop kicking me. Get off me! Stop hitting me.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Call 911.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, now the 15-year-old who wanted off the bus, Samantha Taylor, is being charged with one count of disorderly conduct, which has a maximum six months in juvenile detention. The county attorney said he decided not to prosecute the bus driver because she was well within her right to restrain the student.
Fifteen-year-old Samantha Taylor, the student at the center of it all joins us live from Phoenix along with her lawyer Michael Urbano. Samantha, how do you feel about the charge tonight?
SAMANTHA TAYLOR, WAS IN SCHOOL BUS BRAWL: I am pretty upset about it. It is not fair at all. I am really, really appalled that I got charged with anything, and that it would end up being six months in jail for it. It is not fair.
VAN SUSTEREN: Michael—Michael, as I watch this, we're just coming off of a story out of North Carolina, and it is sort of astounding to me. I realize it is a different budget than Arizona, but when you think of prosecuting Samantha as a juvenile—and Samantha's bad behavior, I will concede that, but spending all of your resources in Arizona on this prosecution seems pretty silly to me tonight.
What do you think, Michael? I suppose you agree.
MICHAEL URBANO, ATTORNEY FOR STUDENT: It seems pretty slanted to me. To me, it seems completely egregious and outrageous.
What is appalling is the fact that Samantha is the only one being charged, while the other two students, including the bus driver's daughter, is not being charged as long as she completes a diversion program, which, basically, means she completes maybe a three-hour anger management class, and charges are not filed against her.
Samantha is the only one being held to a higher standard of being charged, and not allowed that diversion program, including the bus driver. And, as a defense attorney, I feel that the county attorney is hiding behind a statute which ambiguously allows—
VAN SUSTEREN: Here is the problem, Michael, is that the prosecutor is well within his authority to do this. There is no question about—
URBANO: I disagree.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, but he can charge if he thinks there has been a crime, so I disagree with you on that.
Your client's behavior was bad, she said that when she was here last time. The question is does the prosecutor really want to spend resources doing a bus abroad instead of putting it all of these people in one room and making them exchange apologies or doing something else, and instead have your client face criminal charges and six months when we have far more violent crimes on the street?
I do not know, but maybe you guys are rich in Arizona and you have a big fat budget to do that.
URBANO: Greta, you were a defense attorney. You know as well as I do that it is not up to defense council to decide which crimes are charged and which aren't. It is up to the county attorney.
And for the county attorney to actually hide behind this self-defense statute, which is, at best, ambiguous—because the language in this statute is vague and unclear. If I may—when I was—
VAN SUSTEREN: Let me get off the law for one second, Michael, because I am really curious about Samantha.
Samantha, have you talked to the bus driver or to her daughter, or to anybody since, and made some sort of an effort to apologize?
TAYLOR: I have no reason, I have no way to contact them in any way, and I would not apologize to them anyway.
URBANO: And, Greta—
VAN SUSTEREN: Samantha, do you think your behavior was behavior that you are proud of?
URBANO: I would advise her not to answer that question now that she's been charged with a crime. And, Greta, as well, as you know—
VAN SUSTEREN: Michael, I agree with you that it's stupid.
URBANO: —once she is charged with a crime, she is precluded from contacting any victims.
VAN SUSTEREN: I know. Michael, you and I are on the same—
URBANO: And I cannot adviser to answer whether or not she is proud of this behavior or not. That would be conceding that she did something wrong.
VAN SUSTEREN: No, not necessarily, I don't agree with you. But, Michael, you and I agree on one thing—this is a prosecution where a lot of money is being spent for young people, and there are better ways to resolve it, and it shows a lack of creative judgment on the part of the prosecutor, I think.
Samantha, do you think you're going to go to jail or go to juvenile?
TAYLOR: Honestly, I don't. I trust my attorney.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, well, in some ways, I feel bad for you, Samantha, because this is the kind of thing that ties up the court system, and you are young, you have a bright future, and if the prosecutor though of handling it a different way, everyone can go his merry way and have a great life. Instead, you are all stuck in court.
URBANO: Greta, if I can say one thing on this, is—
VAN SUSTEREN: Yes.
URBANO: —the fact that the bus driver is not being charged with a felony to me is completely outrageous and absurd. The county attorney, Andrew Thomas, stated in an interview, in a press conference, that they did not have enough evidence to charge the bus driver.
There is a 28-minute video showing the bus driver attacking, pulling Samantha's hair out of her head, pulling her earrings out.
VAN SUSTEREN: You know, Michael
URBANO: (INAUDIBLE) —with less evidence, and lost those cases. For him to assert that there is not enough evidence—
VAN SUSTEREN: Michael, the problem is pointing fingers—you are making a mistake. Michael, you are making a mistake. You should try to resolve this rather than pointing fingers.
URBANO: My job is to defend her in court. I cannot go in and shake hands and say let's all say we're sorry. We cannot do that.
VAN SUSTEREN: I think your job is to try to get rid of the case for your client so she can go on her way.
URBANO: We can't do that. That is not up to me.
VAN SUSTEREN: You talk to the prosecutor.
URBANO: By that logic, I could rob a bank, get caught, give the money back, and say, I am sorry, no harm, no foul. That is not how the defense system works.
VAN SUSTEREN: That is not teenagers on a bus. Robbing a bank is a lot different. Anyway, I am sorry to take the last word.
URBANO: We can't just go in and say we're sorry. We have been dealing with the school board on this, we've been dealing with the county attorney on this, and their behavior to me is totally outrageous.
VAN SUSTEREN: And it will never go away. It will never go away, and it will get stuck in the court system and cost a fortune and a lot of heart ache when it should not. Samantha, I am calling to get a lot of e-mail.
URBANO: I'm willing to fight this, I'm willing to fight the good fight for to the end of the time.
VAN SUSTEREN: You should instead negotiate and get rid of it. Anyway, thank you all, thank you, both.
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