A police report released Tuesday sheds new light on a bizarre incident involving an Atlanta bus driver and a 62-year-old passenger who claims she was dragged.
According to Atlanta Police, Lettie Robinson was getting off MARTA bus 2977 at her usual stop, near the corner of Joseph E. Boone Boulevard and Mayson Turner Road, at about 8:30 p.m. Sunday when she turned back to get her purse inside the bus.
“I was reaching for my key in my purse, and she closed the door on my arm,” Robinson said. “I knocked on the window, but she wouldn’t stop.”
Driver Belinda McMillian bonded out of jail Monday night.
The Smyrna resident was charged with misdemeanor reckless conduct and released on $1,000 bond.
She was also placed on administrative leave while MARTA does an internal investigation.
A witness said McMillian seemed agitated by Robinson before she got to the stop.
He said people on the bus were trying to notify the driver that Robinson was being dragged, but it seemed like McMillian had no regard for what was happening.
According to the police report two women in the same car also saw Robinson being dragged.
“The witness began honking her vehicle’s horn, but the MARTA bus continued Eastbound from the MARTA bus stop at 1278 Joseph E. Boone Blvd. NW still dragging the victim,” the report states.
The driver eventually pulled her car in front of the bus to get it to stop.
Robinson had been dragged 63 feet by the time the bus stopped.
The police report said when McMillian opened the door, “the victim fell to the ground, possibly striking her head on the bus on the way down.”
She suffered a broken left arm, cuts and bruises.
As the women in the nearby car helped her out, witnesses told police McMillian simply took off and resumed her route.
With help from a MARTA route supervisor, officers caught up with McMillian approximately six miles away.
Police spokesperson Officer Kim Jones said McMillian told police a different version of events.
“She stated that the lady was running along side the bus then tripped and fell,” Jones said. “However the victim in this case uses a walker, so she wouldn’t be running alongside the bus.”
At one point McMillian said Robinson had never even been a passenger on the bus because a MARTA officer removed her when she wouldn’t take her seat.
MARTA Officer T. Maddox confirmed that he asked Robinson to take her seat, but noted that she did, so the bus continued on its way.
He told Atlanta Police that it’s sort of her routine.
“MARTA Officer Maddox said that the victim rides the same bus every night and almost always speaks loudly and refuses to take her seat for a few minutes and then takes her seat,” the police report states. “He thought that the arrestee should know this as it is a common occurrence with the victim.”