Florida mother arrested after pulling a gun on a bus full of children

by Kristen Smith
WTLV News

A Florida mother is accused of pulling a gun at a school bus stop and pointing it at a group of children.

According to a police report, 40-year-old Johnna Bridges was picking up her son from a bus stop in Jacksonville when she had words with a passing driver.

Witnesses told police Bridges pulled a silver and black gun from under her shirt.

They say she then reportedly asked if "anybody has something to say," and asked "do you all want some?"

One victim listed in the police report is just 11 years old, and there were just a handful of kids there.

Bus 94 had safely dropped off kids after school on Seaboard Road, and that's when things got dangerous.

"It was legal for her to carry the firearm, but wielding it in front of children at a school bus it isn't something that anyone should tolerate," said Sgt. Bill Wilkerson of the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.

Bridges is the mother of a 6th grader at J.E.B. Stuart middle school.

When the driver of bus 94 heard the kids talking about what happened she called the principal.

"She said on the way to school the children were talking about it, they were concerned and worried about it," said principal Jeanne Ballentine.

Ballentine questioned all of the kids and realized she'd met the mother before.

"She and her son came in the week before to complain about two boys who were harassing her son on that same bus," said Ballentine.

She said the boys who'd been bothering the mother's son weren't on the bus this time, and the problem was resolved.

Police say no matter what the issue is, a gun is not the answer.

"It's never an answer to bring a gun or any kind of violence to a child or to any citizen," said Wilkerson.

Ballentine sent home a letter to those parents saying the school does all it can to make sure their kids are safe.

Police have charged Bridges with improper exhibition of a firearm which is a misdemeanor.

She faces up to a year in jail.