A woman called 911 from the luggage compartment of a Peter Pan bus — to say she’d been locked there by the driver, it was revealed Wednesday.
The caller began by calmly telling the Connecticut dispatcher on Aug. 4 her phone was about to die and that she was “not OK,” according to a recording released by Connecticut State Police.
“The bus driver locked me underneath the bus, um, a Peter Pan bus going en route to Boston,” the caller says.
The dispatcher simply responds “OK” — prompting a “Can you hear me?” from the caller.
“The bus driver’s under the bus?” the dispatcher asks, confused.
The caller replies “No. She locked me under the bus with the luggage. I went to get something … ”
Which is when the dispatcher interrupts to ask: “She locked you UNDER the bus?”
“Yes. Yes under the bus with the luggage and I’m afraid. I don’t know if she’s ever … I’m afraid. Nobody knows where I am.”
State Police units eventually tracked down the bus, which was traveling from New York to Boston on Interstate 84.
The woman found inside the luggage bin — a 32-year-old from New York — told cops that she’d been “purposely locked inside by a female driver while attempting to retrieve items from her bag,” according to a police report.
The driver, Wendy Alberty, 49, of New Jersey was charged with reckless endangerment and unlawful restraint, as well as breaching the peace — but the charges were dropped, her attorney, Nate Baber told The Boston Globe on Tuesday.
“She should have never been arrested in the first place,” Barber said.
The attorney said he believes the passenger’s “misinterpretation” of events was “improperly relayed to police.”
“It was a crazy scenario,” he said. “Obviously, the passenger was very confused.”
Katie Johnston, a Boston Globe reporter on the bus at the time, said the woman was in the compartment for about an hour before she was freed.
“In retrospect, a few of us remembered hearing a banging sound that must have been her, and didn’t last long, but didn’t think anything of it at the time,” Johnston said.
When the police pulled the bus over, they stared into the rear compartment for a few minutes before “suddenly, the woman appeared,” Johnston said.
“She had her laptop open, and a bunch of clothes pulled out of a big backpackers’ backpack, and a conga-like drum” and “didn’t seem to be in any distress,” she said.
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