Memphis tour bus group mistaken for migrants in Massachusetts


MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) – A tour gone terribly wrong.

A group of Memphians, touring Cape Cod, Massachusetts, were confronted by an off-duty National Guardsman who mistook the group for a bus full of migrants.

Four of the women on that bus sat down with Action News 5 on Friday afternoon: sisters Mary White and Landon White, Maria Johnson and Venus Britton.

The four joined about 30 others from Memphis on a nine-day bus tour that would end at Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts.

“You always hear Martha’s Vineyard. Presidents go, this and that,” said Mary White.

Towards 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 pulled up directly 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 Christopher Hoffman, 51, an off-duty Massachusetts National Guardsman at the time.

The travel company the group booked the trip with, Diamond Tours, is based in Tallahassee and had Florida license plates.

Given recent news of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis sending migrants to Massachusetts, Hoffman made his guess.

“He thought we were a bus full of immigrants,” Johnson said.

“…and you hear at the front of the bus…arguments being exchanged,” Landon White said.

The driver, the ladies identified as Mike, got off the bus but left the door open, allowing Hoffman to board.

The ladies say he used vulgar language, asking people questions about what they were doing in Massachusetts, but then apologized after realizing the group were not immigrants.

Johnson, in particular, did not consider it genuine.

“Who gave you the power to be a vigilante?” Who told you that you could come after a group of people? This is all political,” Johnson said.

“The driver left us like sitting ducks,” Landon White said.

“I don’t know how to tell you how disgusted and heartbroken I was,” Mary White said with tears in her eyes.

The Massachusetts National Guard released a statement about Hoffman’s actions:

The tour group returned to Memphis last Sunday.

The four women are happy to be home with no plans to return to Massachusetts anytime soon.

“Don’t play with my life like this,” Johnson said.

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