Three South Americans traveling to the World Flying Disc Federation World Championships in Warren County covered the final miles to get there in Ohio Highway Patrol cruisers.
The three Colombians were put off a Greyhound bus about midnight Thursday on Interstate 71 in the Montgomery area, north of Cincinnati, and reported to the Ohio Highway Patrol, according to Lt. Scott Kuntz, commander of the highway patrol’s Cincinnati post.
Kuntz said a motorist reported “pedestrians walking on the interstate” southbound in the northbound lanes.
A trooper dispatched on the call found three people affiliated with the Colombian team walking with luggage along the berm and called for back-up, since his car lacked available space for all three players and luggage.
The two troopers drove the players to the Cincinnati Marriott Northeast in Mason, where the team is staying during the tournament, to begin Sunday at Mason High School and continue all week in Lebanon before concluding at the school in Mason.
“We were just basically helping them get to where they needed to be,” Kuntz said Friday.
Although it is illegal to walk on interstates, Kuntz said no citations were issued.
“We were just thankful we were able to get them where they needed to be,” he concluded.
The incident prompted some controversy after another player contacted media and posted on social media claiming the three were taken off the bus for speaking Spanish.
“Two players, and one volunteer for the team, said they struggled to overcome a language barrier with a Greyhound bus driver who felt they were being disruptive. After the driver threatened to remove them from the bus, the members of Oso Club Ultimate asked to be let off on the side of the road, Luis Rodriguez, head coach of the team,” reportedly told aplus.com.
Greyhound investigated and issued a statement:
“Upon our investigation, we determined that this was not an act of discrimination. In fact, English is not the driver’s first language either. Our policy states that customers must be transported to the destination that is printed on their tickets, and the customers were upset and became unruly when the driver refused to drop them off in another city about 32 miles outside of Cincinnati.”
Player Julian Quintera Rodriguez told a reporter in a message to the Warren County News Facebook page, that he was one of three people involved in the incident, but referred questions to the coach, who could not be reached for comment.