Bus driver intentionally locked woman in luggage compartment, police say
WILLINGTON, Conn. – Connecticut State Police arrested a driver after they said she purposely locked a passenger in the luggage compartment.
Police said Sunday they received a call from a woman who said she was locked in the luggage compartment of a Peter Pan bus heading to Boston on I-84. Police were able to get a location on her phone and verified that she was traveling on the highway, headed east.
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Troopers were able to locate the bus and pull it over at Exit 70. The trooper talked to the male driver of the bus. When he opened the luggage compartment, the woman who called police climbed out.
She declined medical attention and told police that she had been purposely locked inside by a female bus driver, while the customer was attempting to retrieve something from her bag. That driver was riding on the bus when police pulled it over.
A passenger on the bus, Caroline Van Allen, of Boston, said she saw the woman who had been locked in the compartment in the line for the bus in New York. She said she got on in New York City and was riding to Boston. The bus made a brief stop in Hartford and the next thing she knew, they were being pulled over on I-84 east of Hartford.
Van Allen recalled a couple of unmarked Connecticut State Police cruisers came up and pulled the Peter Pan bus over. The troopers opened the luggage compartment and the first thing she saw was a large, half-emptied backpack –then a young woman in her mid-20s emerged from the underside of the bus. She was escorted to one of the cruisers and remained there.
They arrived in Boston a couple of hours late. No one from Peter Pan told anyone on the bus what was happening.
The female driver, Wendy Alberty, 50, was located on the bus and charged with breach of peace, reckless endangerment, and unlawful restraint. She is being held on $2,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court on August 21.
Peter Pan said in a statement:
In regards to the incident that took place on August 4, 2019 we are deeply concerned and treating this as our #1 priority.
The Operator in question is currently on investigative suspension as we continue to investigate all aspects of this incident as well as cooperate with Connecticut State Police
This Operator has been with Peter Pan Bus Lines since 2012 and she has been an exemplary employee for the company. Over her tenure she has received many customer commendations on her safe driving and customer service.
In our companies 86 year history we have never had an incident such as this, the safety of our passengers and employees is always our number one priority.