A Peter Pan bus driver who was accused of locking a passenger inside a luggage compartment of a bus in August is no longer facing criminal charges, her attorney said.
Wendy Alberty, 49, of New Jersey had been facing charges of reckless endangerment and unlawful restraint, as well as breaching the peace.
“They were all dropped,” said her attorney, Nate Baber. “She should have never been arrested in the first place.”
The bizarre incident was brought to the attention of police by a 32-year-old New York woman, who called 911 from the luggage compartment of a Boston-bound Peter Pan bus on Aug. 4. Connecticut State Police pulled the bus over on Interstate 84, just south of the Massachusetts border.
According to the police report, the woman who was inside the luggage compartment told police that she had been “purposely locked inside by a female driver while attempting to retrieve items from her bag.” Alberty was then taken into custody.
Globe reporter Katie Johnston, who was traveling on the bus, said the woman may have been locked in the compartment “close to an hour or so” 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 us over, they opened both luggage compartments — first the one toward the front, which she wasn’t in, then the rear one — and stared into them for what seemed like a few minutes, and then 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.”
Johnston said the woman was wearing shorts and had a colorful scarf around her neck; she “didn’t seem to be in any distress.”
Baber said Alberty had been driving buses for many years and had no record of incidents or complaints until that point. He 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.”