BARTOW, Fla. (AP) -- A 71-year-old central Florida woman will spend a year on probation after pleading guilty to child abuse charges for beating and biting a student on a Lakeland school bus.
Hattie Yvonne Branch accepted the plea deal Tuesday rather than going to trial. She faced a third-degree felony which carried a maximum five-year prison sentence.
The Ledger of Lakeland reports Branch was arrested last year after authorities reviewed video footage of the school bus incident.
Reports indicate the teen tossed a 5-year-old boy over a bus seat and the child's feet struck Branch. That's when authorities say Branch pulled the teen's hair, hit him, bit his back twice and put him in a wresting hold.
Branch told authorities she was defending herself because the teen had bullied and threatened her.