BOSTON (CBS) – An MBTA bus driver charged with running down a traffic officer in Kenmore Square was driving passengers around on a suspended license at one point, it was revealed Friday.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Ben Parker reports
Thirty-four-year-old Lataria Milton is accused of driving her bus into Vicki Kilduff, a traffic officer who was writing her a ticket for blocking traffic Thursday morning. Milton’s bus also crashed into a couple of cars nearby.
She was arrested on charges of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and operating to endanger.
She pleaded not guilty at her arraignment Friday morning in Roxbury District Court. She was released on a promise to return for her next hearing October 16.
Kilduff is out of the hospital and recovering at her Canton home.
Milton was ordered to stay away from her and any witnesses to the incident.
Milton, who’s driven with the MBTA for eleven years, has a lengthy driving record.
According to the Registry of Motor Vehicles, her license is currently in non-renewable status for unpaid parking tickets, unpaid excise tax and an unpaid toll violation.
In 2010, she was involved in a crash in Roxbury and found to be at fault.
Her license was also suspended from November 2006 to March 2007 for failing to complete a safety course.
The MBTA confirmed Friday that she was operating a bus during that time period because she failed to report the suspension, as she was required to, to the MBTA .
The MBTA didn’t start receiving regular reports from the Registry about their drivers suspended or revoked licenses until 2009.
Milton left court Friday without comment. Most of her relatives screamed as reporters asked them questions outside the courthouse.
One uncle said he doubts the charges.
But prosecutors said Thursday’s incident was recorded on surveillance video.
Assistant District Attorney Linda Champion said Kilduff claims she told Milton to move the bus because it was illegally parked in Kenmore Square, but that Milton ignored her and kept eating breakfast in the bus.
When she started writing a ticket, Milton allegedly started the bus and drove around the officer’s van.
Kilduff caught up with the bus and tried to put the ticket on the bus window. She claimed, at that point, Milton accelerated, hitting her and her van.
Champion said Milton claimed the bus suddenly rolled forward when Kilduff tried to put the ticket on her window, but mechanics inspected the bus and found nothing wrong with it.
Prosecutors asked for a substantial bail based on the fact that Milton has not paid citations or court fines in the past. But the judge agreed to release her on her own recognizance.
Sources told WBZ-TV the MBTA was expected to begin the process of terminating Milton on Friday.
Milton is the mother of five children ages 11-to-17.