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January 03, 2013  |   Comments (2)   |   Post a comment

Man tries to drive off in loaded school bus

By Thomas McMahon


PALESTINE, Texas — A man here apparently attempted to use a school bus as a getaway vehicle but was thwarted by the bus driver and two bystanders.

Palestine police said that on the morning of Dec. 18, a 30-year-old man was trying to leave an apartment complex after possibly having been involved in an altercation. The suspect reportedly entered a loaded Palestine Independent School District bus and attempted to drive away.

Police said it appeared that the bus driver was in the aisle of the bus assisting a student when the man boarded the bus and sat in the driver’s seat. A maintenance employee from the apartment complex and an off-duty corrections officer went to the aid of the bus driver. After a struggle with the suspect, the three men were able to pull him from the bus and hold him on the ground until police arrived and took him into custody.

Police said that based on initial information, there were about 12 to 15 children on the bus at the time of the incident. None of the children was injured.

Jason Marshall, superintendent of Palestine Independent School District, said in a statement that the district is “grateful to the bus driver and the apartment managers for their efforts in subduing the perpetrator and keeping the students safe. … The safety of students and staff is always the first priority of the district, and the district will take measures to continue ensuring that appropriate action is taken for the safety of all.”

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Read more about: law enforcement, school bus security, Texas

This is why a driver should NEVER leave his/her seat for any reason with the bus running or keys in the ignition. This is taught in NY but I see many drivers getting up to buckle in a small child with the bus running. It should never happen. In our district the pre-K children that require car seats are buckled in by the parent or the teacher. Our drivers are not supposed to leave their seat without securing the bus ever.

C Wilson    |    Jan 09, 2013 06:33 AM

Good thing it wasn't an STA driver. If he had left the bus WITH the perpetrator in hand, the driver would have been fired for leaving the bus with children on board.

Joe Prevish    |    Jan 07, 2013 03:14 AM

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