MBTA bus driver arraigned on charges of striking Boston parking officer with bus; T beginning termination

MBTA bus driver Lataria Milton is escorted by family and friends past the media after her arraignment at Roxbury Muncipal Court today. She pleaded not guilty.
MBTA bus driver Lataria Milton is escorted by family and friends past the media after her arraignment at Roxbury Muncipal Court today. She pleaded not guilty. Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe

Lataria Milton, the MBTA driver accused of striking a longtime Boston parking enforcement officer with her MBTA bus, is in the beginning stages of termination from the MBTA, according to a T official who declined to be named because the person did not have authorization to talk about Milton’s employment status.

Milton, was released on personal recognizance at Roxbury Municipal Court today after pleading not guilty to reckless operation of a motor vehicle and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.

Judge David Weingarten ordered Milton not to have any contact with the transportation officer or witnesses to the bizarre incident.

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MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo said Friday afternoon that regardless of whether Milton continues working at the MBTA, T officials have determined they do not want Milton behind the wheel of a bus in the future.

“Ms. Milton will not operate an MBTA bus again,” Pesaturo said.

VICKI KILDUFF
VICKI KILDUFF

Milton was arrested by Transit police Thursday morning she allegedly drove her MBTA bus into Vicki Kilduff, a Boston Transportation Department supervisor who was writing Milton a ticket for parking the bus in a no-stopping zone on Commonwealth Avenue in Kenmore Square.

In court today, Suffolk Assistant District Attorney Linda Champion asked that Milton be held on $2,500 bail, saying that the bus driver’s collision with the parking officer was “deliberate and intentional.”

Champion said several witnesses told police the bus driver swerved toward Kilduff as the city employee was placing a ticket on the bus windshield. The bus continued to lurch forward and collided with cars waiting for the light to change at the major intersection.

“The bus gunned forward, intentionally striking the victim,” Champion said.

Champion said the entire incident was caught on videotape.

But Milton’s defense attorney, Steven J. Sack, argued that Milton’s ties to the Boston area made her a low flight risk. She is the mother of five children, he said, and has spent most of her life living in Dorchester, though she recently moved to Somerville.

“She can’t have much stronger roots in the community,” Sack said.

Sack said Milton has no convictions. He said she, along with other witnesses at the scene, recall the incident playing out different from the narrative suggested by the prosecuting attorney.

“Her version is much, much different,” Sack said. “This case is defensible in many, many, many ways.”

Milton is due back in court Oct. 16.

Following the incident, Kilduff was rushed to Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston where she was treated and then released shortly after noon, officials said.

Outside the large white brick home where she lives with her mother in Canton Friday afternoon, her brother, Kevin Kilduff said the woman hit the ground hard after she was struck by the bus and lost consciousness. She is suffering from post-concussive syndrome, and her pre-existing hip injury was exacerbated, Denner said.

“She’s feeling pretty disoriented,” Denner said. “She’s feeling pretty bad.”

Kevin Kilduff is serving as a lawyer for the family, along with prominent Boston attorney Jeffrey A. Denner. Denner said Vicki could have been killed and the driver easily could have been charged with mayhem or assault with intent to murder.

“It would seem to me that the driver of this particular bus was very lucky with what she was charged with today,” Denner said.

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