A suspect is in custody after a New York City bus was hijacked Thursday morning with “what appeared to be a firearm,” police officials said.
The 44-year-old man allegedly ran in front of the bus brandishing what appeared to be a gun just after 7:30 a.m. on St. Albans neighborhood, New York Police Department officials said. After boarding the bus, the driver “immediately” opened all the doors to allow passengers to get off, NYPD Deputy Chief John Clune said.
About 20 to 25 passengers were on the bus before the male suspect boarded, NYPD Deputy Chief Jerry O’Sullivan said. The bus didn’t move until everyone was off, O’Sullivan said.
The man told the bus driver to keep driving, O’Sullivan said. The bus continued east for about 35 blocks before the driver jumped out the driver’s side window at about 7:36 a.m., Clune said.
The suspect then allegedly climbed over a partition separating the bus driver’s seat from the bus aisle and attempted to take control of the bus before hitting a utility pole about a block away, Clune said.
The suspect exited the bus and crossed the street before being apprehended when NYPD officers responded, according to Clune.
The driver of the bus and the suspect were taken to area hospitals for minor injuries, Clune added, adding that charges against the suspect are pending.
Frank Annicaro, senior vice president of the New York City Transit Bus Department, said the bus driver is a 21-year veteran of the MTA. No one involved in the incident was seriously injured, Annicaro said.
O’Sullivan added that the weapon recovered at the scene “appears to be … a BB gun.” Additionally, the male suspect “appeared to be a regular.”
Power to the area is expected to be out for at least three more hours due to the collision with the pole and all students at a nearby school were sent home for the day, O’Sullivan said.