A man arrested for driving a party bus that was intercepted in Larkspur teeming with minors, drugs and alcohol pleaded not guilty Friday.
James Greene, 63, was arraigned at the Marin County Superior Court, and told NBC Bay Area that he just wants to be left alone.
The Central Marin Police Authority received an anonymous call around 5:40 p.m. Monday as the bus was about to depart the Larkspur Ferry Terminal. The passenger door of the bus was open and swinging freely when the bus made the left turn out of the terminal parking lot, police spokeswoman Margo Rohrbacher said.
On the black and silver bus, police found 33 boys and girls, between 15 and 17 years old, from Larkspur, Tiburon, San Rafael, San Anselmo, Kentfield and Mill Valley. They also smelled alcohol and marijuana, and found 30 containers of hard alcohol, a case of spiked lemonade, a jar of marijuana and a purse filled with an assortment of prescription drugs, Rohrbacher said.
The San Francisco man claims he had no idea about the alcohol and drugs on board. Claiming that he didn't know the passengers were underage, Greene said he was just taking them to their parents.
He pleaded not guilty Friday to charges, including possession of narcotics, drug paraphanelia, controlled substances, and a switchblade knife.
When asked about Greene's case, Public Defender Michael Schroettner said, “I can't really discuss anything at this moment. Our office has recently been appointed.”
A 16-year-old Tiburon resident arranged for the 45-passenger party bus. Galactic Transporter, the bus company that owns the vehicle, told NBC Bay Area it sold the bus about a year ago. It remains unclear who bought it.
Greene’s next hearing is scheduled for July 29.