Bus company comes to defense of driver who locked up passenger

Police charged Wendy Alberty, 49, with unlawful restraint and other offenses. She was not driving, but was still on the bus as a passenger. (Connecticut State Police)

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) -- The Massachusetts bus company that employs a driver charged with intentionally locking a passenger in the vehicle's luggage compartment is coming to the driver's defense.

Christopher Crean, head of safety and security at Springfield-based Peter Pan Bus Lines, says driver Wendy Alberty is an "exemplary" employee who has "received many customer commendations" for safe driving and service.

Crean says he doesn't think Alberty intentionally locked the 32-year-old Long Beach, New York woman in the luggage area.

Peter Pan has suspended the Alberty, 49, who has worked for the company since 2012.

Connecticut State Police pulled over the bus in Union, Connecticut on Sunday after getting a 911 call from the trapped woman. Alberty is charged with unlawful restraint.

The bus was en route from New York City to Boston.