School bus driver loses job after DUI

Centennial man charged in Nov. 20 incident

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Two days after being charged with DUI after transporting a busload of special-needs students on a field trip, a 36-year-old Centennial man has been fired from his job.

Rodolfo Luna, who lives on South Andes Street, was taken into custody Nov. 20 by Arapahoe County sheriff’s deputies after failing a drug/alcohol test.

Luna had been a bus driver for the school district since July.

“As of today (Nov. 22), Mr. Luna no longer works for the Cherry Creek School District,” said district spokesperson Tustin Amole.

“We’re very disturbed by this incident,” Amole added. “We have notified all of the parents of the students who were on the bus.”

According to a news release issued by the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office, on Nov. 20 Luna had driven a bus occupied by 11 special-needs students from Liberty Middle School to a field trip at the Village Inn restaurant at Parker and Arapahoe roads.

“Around 9:28 a.m., representatives of the Cherry Creek School District received an email from a concerned citizen who had witnessed Luna discard empty vodka bottles from his school bus in a parking lot,” the release stated.

After receiving the email, Cherry Creek Schools security officers contacted Luna via radio. Luna stated that he was at Liberty Middle School, where he had just dropped off the students.

Luna was instructed by security officers to remain at the school, but when district personnel arrived at Liberty Middle School, Luna had left the area in the school bus.

Around noon, school district security officers and the district’s transportation director caught up with Luna, who was still driving the bus in the area of South Buckley Road and East Peakview Avenue.

When contacted again via radio by school security officers, Luna pulled over and was taken off the bus and driven immediately to an area emergency room where, in accordance with district policy, he underwent a drug/alcohol test.

Afterward, Luna and security personnel returned to the district’s bus yard and were met by sheriff’s deputies.

Luna consented to a roadside sobriety test, which he failed, and then admitted to deputies that he had consumed vodka and cold medicine prior to starting his shift that day.

Luna was arrested and subsequently charged with DUI, reckless endangerment and child abuse.

The district attorney’s office is reportedly considering pressing additional charges related to Luna being “in a position of trust” at the time of the alleged incident.

Following his arrest, Luna was transported to the Arapahoe County jail and held on a $1,000 bond.

Amole said the school district does criminal background checks on all new hires and conducts random, monthly drug testing on all employees who drive district vehicles.

“(Luna) was a relatively new employee,” Amole said. “I am told he did not have a police record.”