Bus Aide Arrested On Sexual Exploitation Charge

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Police arrested a Happy Jack bus aide Tuesday for soliciting a 17-year-old Payson student for sexual acts.

Michael Flood, 60, was arrested on charges of luring a minor for sexual exploitation and booked into the Gila County Jail. He has since posted a $2,500 bond.

Police say Flood, a school bus aide employed by the Chevelon Butte School District (CBSD), developed a relationship with the teen for several weeks. Flood pleaded with the teen to ditch school and engage in sexual conduct with another person. The teen refused and reported the matter to Payson Unified School District (PUSD) officials.

On Feb. 15, staff at Payson High School notified police of Flood’s actions.

“Although Flood was not a PUSD employee, we are very thankful that the Chevelon Butte District and local law enforcement responded immediately and decisively to protect one of our students,” said PUSD Superintendent Casey O’Brien.

Police continue their investigation for any other potential victims, said PPD Chief Don Engler.

The CBSD is a “transportation district” out of Forest Lakes, meaning it does not own or operate any schools. Students from the district are bused to neighboring schools either in Heber-Overgaard, Pine-Strawberry or Payson. Parents concerned about their children having inappropriate contact with Flood are asked to contact Det. Michael Varga at (928) 474-5177.

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