Bus driver accused of stalking boy, 8, sentenced to nine years in prison

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A former school bus driver who stalked and threatened an 8-year-old boy in New Hampshire was sentenced on Thursday to nine years in prison.

Michael Chick, of Eliot, Maine, who pleaded guilty in federal court last month to one count of cyberstalking, also was sentenced to three years’ supervised release.

Chick worked as a bus driver for First Student, a contractor, and drove routes in the southeastern New Hampshire towns of Greenland and Rye. He was arrested in 2022.

Prosecutors alleged he gave a student at Greenland Central School cellphones with instructions to take inappropriate photos of himself, placed tracking devices on his parents’ vehicles and made multiple nighttime visits to their home, according to court documents.

The boy told investigators Chick used a story about a group of criminals he called “The Team” who would kill his family, kidnap him and torture him if he did not comply with his demands.

The boy’s parents reported what they considered to be Chick’s obsession with their son. Chick was reassigned to different bus routes but continued to contact the boy, according to the court documents. The family reported him to police again after finding two cellphones in a lunchbox in the boy’s room.

“Michael Chick’s crimes caused unimaginable pain and fear for the survivor and his family. It is only because of their bravery and diligence that the defendant’s crimes were uncovered,” U.S. Attorney Jane Young said in a statement. “While Michael Chick’s incarceration will not erase the trauma he inflicted, it will hopefully provide some measure of justice for the survivor and his family.”

A judge had previously rejected a plea deal that included a six-year prison sentence, saying it was not long enough.

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