‘I Am Livid’: Peoria Mom Says Greyhound Let 14-Year-Old on Bus to Las Vegas Unsupervised

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Julia Fait said she’s furious at Greyhound after her 14-year-old daughter and two of her 13-year-old friends were allowed to board a bus from Phoenix to Las Vegas without any adult supervision.

Greyhound has a policy that prohibits underage riders, though children between the ages of 12 and 16 can board a bus if their legal guardian is present and gives permission. Fait, who lives in Peoria, said the policy was not enforced, putting the girls at risk.

“I am livid,” Fait told The Arizona Republic. “I am absolutely livid.”

13- and 14-year-olds head to Las Vegas alone
Fait said her daughter used her father’s credit card on Sunday without permission to purchase three Greyhound bus tickets online for herself and her two friends. One of her 13-year-old girlfriends was having trouble at home and wanted to travel to Oregon, where her father lives, Fait said.

The tickets Fait’s daughter purchased were from Phoenix to Las Vegas. The children’s plan was to purchase the next leg of travel upon their arrival in Las Vegas, she said.

Fait says the three girls ordered a car from a ride-share service to drive them to a greyhound station.

A change of heart in Flagstaff
As the bus departed from Phoenix, Fait thought her daughter was at a friend’s house. Fait received a text from her daughter at 4 p.m., saying she would be home from her friend’s house in about an hour. Thirty minutes later, when the bus reached Flagstaff, Fait’s daughter texted her again, admitting to the truth.

“She was just like, ‘I messed up. I don’t want you to be mad,'” Fait said. “She told me the story … she’s like, ‘I’m getting off in Wickenburg.'”

Fait immediately called the Wickenburg Police Department, which patched her through to the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office. The sheriff’s deputy she spoke with was “mortified” when he learned where the children were, Fait said. There is no Greyhound station in Wickenburg, just a truck stop, she said.

Fait said the deputy she spoke with told her the kids were not safe “at all” because the Wickenburg truck stop is known for “trafficking.”

“While I was on the phone with him, he was getting in his car and getting there as quickly as he could,” Fait said.

Lt. Amy Sloane, a spokeswoman with the Wickenburg Police Department, said Wickenburg doesn’t have an official truck stop, but truck drivers will often park at a Mobile gas station on Vulture Mine Road by Highway 93. She said the stop isn’t known for being dangerous.

A change of heart in Flagstaff
As the bus departed from Phoenix, Fait thought her daughter was at a friend’s house. Fait received a text from her daughter at 4 p.m., saying she would be home from her friend’s house in about an hour. Thirty minutes later, when the bus reached Flagstaff, Fait’s daughter texted her again, admitting to the truth.

“She was just like, ‘I messed up. I don’t want you to be mad,'” Fait said. “She told me the story … she’s like, ‘I’m getting off in Wickenburg.'”

Fait immediately called the Wickenburg Police Department, which patched her through to the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office. The sheriff’s deputy she spoke with was “mortified” when he learned where the children were, Fait said. There is no Greyhound station in Wickenburg, just a truck stop, she said.

Fait said the deputy she spoke with told her the kids were not safe “at all” because the Wickenburg truck stop is known for “trafficking.”

“While I was on the phone with him, he was getting in his car and getting there as quickly as he could,” Fait said.

Lt. Amy Sloane, a spokeswoman with the Wickenburg Police Department, said Wickenburg doesn’t have an official truck stop, but truck drivers will often park at a Mobile gas station on Vulture Mine Road by Highway 93. She said the stop isn’t known for being dangerous.

The child, or children, must also be picked up by a designated person at the destination. If the designated person does not have proper identification, the child may be released to the custody of Child Protective Services or to local law enforcement, the website said.

“These precautions help ensure the safety of all children traveling with us,” the website said.

Greyhound has certain restrictions for unaccompanied children, with its website saying they should have a direct trip with no transfers, it should be no longer than eight hours in duration each way and travel should be between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m.

Greyhound spokeswoman Crystal Booker told The Arizona Republic on Tuesday morning that the company was investigating the incident to find out more information and that it would provide The Republic with a complete statement once it’s available.

Fait said she emailed her complaint to Greyhound CEO Dave Leach and called the company’s customer service line multiple times to complain.

She says she’s yet to hear an explanation or an apology.

Source: azcentral.com

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