Arrest made in student left on bus case

January 2, 2009 4:57:48 PM PST
He was supposed to go home in East Harlem after leaving a special needs school in Tribeca. Instead Edwynn Rivera spent 19 hours in a freezing cold van.

"Of course we're angry. How could you lose a whole person?" his sister Kristine wondered.

She said her 22-year-old brother, who has the mental capacity of a 3-year-old, is nearly 6-foot-2 and hard to miss.

In fact, police said the bus matron, Linda Hockaday, knowingly left the boy on the bus.

Police said Hockaday deliberately did not tell the driver that Rivera was still on the bus because she did not want to go back and drop him off at his house. She had to get to an appointment, police said.

She was charged with two counts of felony reckless endangerment.

"If I have to fight the labor board and the union, which the union has given us clearance, I will not take her back," bus company owner Charles Curcio said. "It's a disgrace. I have children of my own."

Outstanding Transport has fired Hockaday. She was arraigned on the charges. Hockaday remained in custody in lieu of $2,500 bond on Friday night.

Edwynn's parents reported him missing New Years Eve night after he didn't get home from his special-needs school.

While they were worried sick at their East Harlem home, Edwyn was stuck on the bus in Brownsville section of Brooklyn where the temperature outside dropped below 20 degrees.

Edwynn's father and an emergency medical service team found him Thursday morning, sitting with his seat belt still on. He had been there for 19 hours..

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