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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