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Bus victim guilty of drug dealing

The Baltimore Sun

The victim of a December beating aboard an MTA bus in North Baltimore pleaded guilty in District Court yesterday morning to one count of attempted drug distribution, city prosecutors said.

Sarah Kreager, 26, was arrested Oct. 18 for attempting to sell prescription drugs to a man who later turned out to be an undercover city police officer, court records show. On Dec. 4, Kreager and her boyfriend, who were homeless at the time, were attacked by several students from Robert Poole Middle School while on a city bus in Hampden in a case that focused attention on crime on mass transit.

Yesterday, Kreager said she agreed to plead guilty to one charge of attempted drug distribution in the October case because she made "an error in judgment" that day she decided to try to sell drugs. Judge Theodore B. Oshrine gave Kreager an 18-month sentence, which was suspended. She was placed on probation and ordered to perform 35 hours of community service.

Kreager said a man approached her who appeared to be sick from addiction, and that was why she offered to sell him painkillers. Her guilty plea yesterday was her sole conviction in the state, court records show.

"I took a plea deal because I made an error in judgment," Kreager said after her hearing at District Court on Wabash Ave. in Northwest Baltimore. "This will end a chapter in my life that was negative, and start a new chapter."

Kreager told The Sun last month that the bus beating in Hampden was the lowest point in her already hard life. Five Robert Poole Middle School students were found responsible for the attack on her and her boyfriend in a dispute over an empty seat on the bus.

Kreager suffered two broken bones around one eye in the beating that began on the bus and then spilled into the street. The altercation prompted reforms to how police respond to trouble on city buses.

Yesterday, Kreager said she still has to undergo surgery to repair two broken bones in her face. Other injuries linger, including blurred vision and an eye that has slightly sunken in its socket, she said. Kreager said she is worried about her ability to pay the medical bills she has already incurred, not to mention the additional surgery, which she said could cost $80,000.

"I'm scared of the surgery and scared of the bills," Kreager said.

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