BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — A man believed to be from Kentucky was arrested here on Monday for allegedly stealing an empty school bus and leading police on a chase throughout the area.

Shortly before 8 a.m., the Blount County Sheriff’s Office notified the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office of a school bus that had been stolen in its jurisdiction, according to a news release from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.

The bus was reportedly stolen from the home of a school bus driver in Hayden, WBRC reports. No students were aboard the bus at the time of the incident, according to the news source. A Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman at the scene told WVTM that two handguns were thrown out of the school bus.

Jefferson County deputies in the Bessemer division came into contact with the reportedly stolen bus and attempted to get the driver of the bus to stop. The driver refused, and a pursuit ensued. Deputies and several other law enforcement agents continued to follow the bus throughout the Birmingham area. During the pursuit, the driver made aggressive maneuvers toward law enforcement vehicles, according to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, and hit an Alabama state trooper vehicle as the trooper was attempting to deploy stop sticks.

The bus came to a stop off of Interstate 459 North. The suspect, Brandon Peckinpaugh, 24, was taken into custody. He is being charged with attempting to elude, reckless endangerment, and resisting arrest, and is being held on $15,000 bond, according to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office. Peckinpaugh is expected to have additional charges filed by other law enforcement agencies.

Authorities told WVTM that Peckinpaugh was headed to Florida with friends when they got into a fight, and he was dropped off in Alabama. He reportedly told investigators that he was trying to go to Florida.

View photos of the scene from WVTM reporter John Thompson's Twitter page below:

About the author
Nicole Schlosser

Nicole Schlosser

Former Executive Editor

Nicole was an editor and writer for School Bus Fleet. She previously worked as an editor and writer for Metro Magazine, School Bus Fleet's sister publication.

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