Schmoke apologizes to Helt for bus driver's arrest

May 31, 1992|By Brian Sullam | Brian Sullam,Staff Writer

SYKESVILLE -- Baltimore Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke sent a letter to Sykesville Mayor Lloyd R. Helt, apologizing for the arrest of a Carroll County school bus driver in Baltimore.

Mayor Helt said he has sent a return letter to the mayor, inviting him to visit Sykesville Middle School and speak with the children who were involved in the incident.

Schmoke hasn't received the letter, said his spokesman, Clint Coleman, but he said the Baltimore mayor would be interested in visiting the school.

Baltimore police arrested Wenda Bollinger of Mount Airy on May 20 as she was dropping off school children for a field trip at the Maryland Science Center.

Schmoke said he was "deeply concerned about the apparent lack of sensitivity and professionalism" of the police officers involved in the arrest.

He also said he was asking Baltimore Police Commissioner Edward V. Woods to conduct "a full review of this unfortunate situation."

According to various reports, Bollinger was arrested after she failed to respond to a request that she move her bus, which was unloading children from the Sykesville Middle School at the Maryland Science Center.

A plainclothes policewoman approached the bus and demanded that Bollinger move the vehicle, which was blocking traffic. Bollinger, unaware of the policewoman's identity, ignored her order and continued to unload the children.

The policewoman allegedly pounded on the window. With the assistance of another officer, the woman then arrested Bollinger.

Baltimore police commanders are still reviewing the incident, said Sam Riggold, police spokesman.

Baltimore State's Attorney Stuart O. Simms, whose office is responsible for prosecuting Bollinger, said he did not know the status of the case Friday, but he called it "unfortunate."

Helt, who said he knows Schmoke through the Maryland Municipal League, applauded the Baltimore's mayor desire to make amends.

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