San Diego

Campo Man Pleads Guilty in School Bus Attack

A Campo man pleaded guilty Thursday to a May attack on a school bus driver that was thwarted by the driver, a passerby, and a student’s grandmother.

Matthew Barker, 37, ran onto a school bus that was picking up Campo Elementary School students at an apartment complex near the intersection of Jeb Stuart and Sheridan roads on May 25. He was armed with a knife.

The driver stopped Barker before he could reach the students who were huddled near the rear of the bus.

A woman who was accompanying her grandchild to school jumped in to help while a third person hopped onto the bus, pried the knife away from Barker and forced him off the bus, sheriff's officials said.

On Thursday, Barker pleaded guilty to felony assault with a deadly weapon and two counts of misdemeanor child endangerment. 

Barker’s son and daughter were on the school bus, their grandfather said.

Two nights before the attack, Barker had called 911 telling them someone was trying to hurt his kids, Barker's father said. 

His son also walked to a nearby U.S. Border Patrol station to reach out for help, according to his father.

SDSO Lt. Greg Rylaarsdam told NBC 7 in May that Barker was detained by deputies but released because he didn't meet the criteria for involuntary transport to the County Mental health Center.

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