What to Know
- A young girl was left on a cold school bus for five hours after bus officials failed to check the bus, police and family say
- The 4-year-old was eventually discovered by a bus driver who was starting his shift; she's now afraid to be alone, her mother says
- The matron overseeing the bus was arrested on several charges
A 4-year-old Queens girl was left alone on a school bus for hours when the bus matron failed to check and make sure that all children had gotten off the bus Wednesday, police say.
The girl was on the cold bus for six hours after she was supposed to get off at her school, P.S. 21 in Flushing, until a driver starting his shift found her. She was locked in the bus from about 8 a.m. until a little after 1 p.m.
"She said she was scared, she was crying, and nobody heard her," her mother, Kenia Contraras, said.
At his boss' instructions, the driver who found her dropped the girl off at her home in Hicksville, and when she got home, she told her parents what had happened. They called police.
Contraras claims bus officials bought candy for her daughter in an effort to convince her not to say anything.
The 38-year-old matron overseeing the bus, Venecia Bisono, was arrested on charges of failure to exercise control of a minor and reckless endangerment, police said. It wasn't immediately clear if she had an attorney who could comment on the charges.
Contraras said her daughter is now afraid to be alone.
"She can't sleep. She sleep with me and hug me," Contraras said.
NBC 4 reached out to the bus company, identified by Contraras as Coky Transportation of Queens. A woman who answered the phone there hung up.
A spokesperson for the city Department of Education said the bus was not on a DOE-contracted bus route. It appears the family paid for it privately.