APS bus driver in court on child abuse charge

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – The Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department said deputies found prescription pills in an Albuquerque Public School driver’s school bus and that the driver was disoriented.

Deputies said 51-year-old Linda Barreto did not have a prescription for the drugs that could have easily impaired her driving.

Barreto is in jail after a road rage incident Monday as she dropped off students from Armijo Elementary School.

It is unclear how many students were on the bus at the time, but APS said 59 are eligible to ride it from this school.

“Yeah, I don’t want any of my kids going on the school bus,” said APS parent Francisca Fileto.

“What can the parents say? You trust the school. You trust the people they hire and to hear that, it’s terrible,” said APS parent Arlene Gonzalez.

The district sent a letter home to parents Tuesday, saying Barreto will no longer be allowed to drive a bus for APS.

“I am glad the parents were notified. I still don’t think it’s acceptable,” Fileto said.

Barreto had only made one stop before BCSD got several calls about a school bus driving recklessly near Bridge and La Vega Southwest.

A deputy found Barreto about a mile away, in the South Valley, just before 3 p.m.

She showed clear signs of impairment, glossy eyes, slurred speech and slow movements according to a criminal complaint.

When asked if she’d had any alcohol or drugs, Barreto said she had Sudafed the night before.

On the bus, deputies found hydrocodone pills. They said, Barreto didn’t have a prescription for them.

They arrested her for that and child abuse.

Barreto’s husband showed up in court Tuesday.

He asked the judge to lower Barreto’s bond, saying she is the breadwinner of the family.

The judge reduced it to $5,000 dollars cash or surety and set conditions of release.

“You are not to return to work until further notice. You are not to drive a school bus,” said Metro Court Judge Daniel Ramczyk.

BCSD said Barreto failed field sobriety tests but a breath test put her below the legal limit.

They are now waiting on results from a blood draw to see if she was high on drugs.

APS said all the students on the bus were dropped off unharmed before BCSD stopped Barreto and arrested her.

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