(BTW All our School Buses have a transponder on them to track their location in the city.)
Published December 13, 2001
HAMPTON -- When a 14-year-old tried to hijack his school bus Tuesday morning by putting a steak knife to the driver's throat, two other students charged at him, police said.
They wrestled the attacker off the bus, and he ran away.
But one of the students who thwarted the attack wasn't going to let the assailant get away. He took off after him.
The armed teen then turned on the boy who was chasing him, police said.
Meanwhile, the bus driver was able to radio for help.
While police officers negotiated with the suspect, a school resource officer -- who was responding to the scene -- was able to go after the student with the knife.
The other teen-ager escaped unharmed.
Hampton police have charged the 14-year-old with carjacking, attempted malicious wounding and abduction.
The same boy tried to rob a gas station on North Armistead Avenue Friday night, said Cpl. Jimmie Wideman, police spokesman. Armed with a pair of scissors and a large aluminum stick, the boy demanded money from the clerk. He was arrested and charged with robbery, Wideman said. He didn't have any other details Wednesday night.
The Tuesday bus attack occurred at 8:30 a.m. on a Hampton City Schools bus carrying students to Woodside Academy, a day school for troubled youth in Newport News, Wideman said.
The bus had stopped on Executive Drive near Coliseum Mall to pick up a student when the 14-year-old attacker approached the driver, police said.
That's when the two other teen-age students on the bus -- a 14- and a 15-year-old -- rushed to help the driver, said Steve Washington, the school system's director of transportation. An aide on the bus stayed with the students as the confrontation moved outside.
The attack has increased the concern about such dangers aboard school buses, Washington said.
"Our driver and aide did an excellent job under the circumstances," Washington said. "They probably prevented a worse scenario."
Fewer than 10 students ride that bus en route to the Newport News academy each day, Washington said.
The incident took both the driver and aide by surprise. They knew all the students pretty well, Washington said.
"It's something that we're looking at, how to be more observant," Washington said.