A Georgia bus driver accused of entering a 10-year-old girl’s home uninvited and then fleeing upon being confronted is free on bond after being criminally charged in connection with the incident, WSB-TV reports.
On Tuesday, police arrested 56-year-old Gogineni Rayudu after earlier in the day he allegedly went to the home of a student on his route, opened the front door wearing gloves, and asked for the child.
The student was not home but her mother, Cassie Cea, and the woman’s boyfriend were there when Rayudu entered the residence.
“My boyfriend was right there, and he came walking out, like, ‘Excuse me? Who are you?” Cea told WSB-TV. “I tried to keep my distance at first because I didn’t know if he had a weapon on him.”
Rayudu allegedly told Cea that he was there to see her daughter. After Cea asked Rayudu what he was doing in the home, he ran out.
“I just started grilling him with questions, and as soon as I did, he took off,” Cea told WSB-TV.
In the weeks before the incident, Rayudu allegedly had been asking the girl questions about her family while on the bus.
Rayudu had also spent time in the area on at least three occasions within the past month, at times asking neighbors where the girl lived, according to FOX 5. It is not clear what efforts, if any, were made to notify the child’s parents about these inquiries.
The daughter described Rayudu as her “special friend” on the bus and that he had changed her seat so he could speak with and see her while driving. He had driven the girl’s bus for only two months.
“I don’t know what this obsession is with her, but all I can think of is if I hadn’t been there, what would have happened?” Cea told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Rayudu has been charged with felony burglary and misdemeanor loitering. He is free on a $20,000 bond.
Cea has obtained a restraining order against Rayudu and is taking additional taking steps to ensure her daughter’s safety moving forward.
“My kid’s never getting on a bus again,” Cea told the newspaper. “I don’t even know if I want her in public school anymore.”
She added: “I’m just really freaked out.”
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[Featured image: Gogineni Rayudu/Cobb County Sheriff’s Office]