Memphis tour bus group mistaken for migrants in Massachusetts
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A tour gone horribly wrong.
A group of Memphians, on a tour of Cape Cod in Massachusetts, were confronted by an off-duty national guardsman who mistook the group for a busload of migrants.
Four of the women who were on that bus sat down with Action News 5 Friday afternoon: sisters Mary White and Landon White, Maria Johnson, and Venus Britton.
The four joined roughly 30 others from Memphis on a nine-day bus tour that would end in Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts.
“You always hear Martha’s Vineyard. The Presidents go there, this and that,” said Mary White.
Toward the end of their tour, after arriving at their hotel, The Admiralty Inn and Suites, the ladies and others on board felt uneasy after a white truck parked close behind them.
“This man had been following us for a good 20 minutes,” Landon White said.
“We stop, and the driver gets off. he has a confrontation with the man,” Johnson recalled.
The man is 51-year-old Christopher Hoffman, a Massachusetts National Guardsmen who was off-duty at the time.
The tour company the group booked the trip with, Diamond Tours, is based out of Tallahassee and had bus plates from Florida.
Given the recent news of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis sending migrants up to Massachusetts, Hoffman made his assumptions.
“He thought we were a busload full of immigrants,” Johnson said.
“...and you hear at the front of the bus... arguments being exchanged,” said Landon White.
The driver, the ladies identified as Mike, got off the bus but left the door open, allowing Hoffman to come onboard.
The ladies say he used vulgar language, asking people questions about what they were doing in Massachusetts, but later offered an apology after realizing the group were not immigrants.
Johnson, in particular, did not take him as genuine.
“Who gave you the authority to be a vigilante? Who told you that you could come after a group of people? This is all political,” said Johnson.
“The driver left us like sitting ducks,” said Landon White.
“I don’t know how to tell you how disgusted and heartbroken I was,” Mary White said, tears swelling up in her eyes.
The Massachusetts National Guard issued a statement on Hoffman’s Actions:
The tour group arrived back in Memphis this past Sunday.
The four women are happy to be home with no intention to return to Massachusetts anytime soon.
“Don’t play with my life like that,” Johnson said.
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