Police: Man steals school bus with cop on board, takes off

A police officer boarded the bus to arrest the driver, but the man refused to surrender

Tanasia Kenney
The Charlotte Observer

CUMBERLAND COUNTY, N.C. — A North Carolina man faces several charges after he’s accused of leading authorities on a chase in a stolen school bus — with a police officer on board.

Cumberland County deputies were alerted to a “disturbance on a school bus” at Seventy-First High School on Thursday, Dec. 9, according to a police news release. School officials said they were warming up the buses around 6 a.m. when a man, identified as Gilbert Lamont McArthur of Fayetteville, tried boarding three school buses.

McArthur, 35, sped away in Bus 423 after he was confronted by the driver who fled, fearing McArthur might have a gun, authorities said.

Cumberland County deputies tracked down the bus soon after and tried to stop it with help from Fayetteville police.

“At that point, a Fayetteville police officer boarded the bus to arrest the driver,” the release states. “The driver refused to surrender and drove away with the Fayetteville City Officer on the bus.”

A driver filmed part of the pursuit while on his way to work that morning, according to WRAL. The video shows the school bus surrounded by several law enforcement vehicles.

The bus stopped at the intersection of Skibo Road and Redtip Road, where officers took McArthur into custody. He was booked into jail on charges of robbery, possession of stolen goods and second-degree kidnapping, deputies said.

He remains held on a $30,000 secure bond and will appear in court Friday, Dec. 10.

“Thankfully, the bus driver is okay and no students were on the bus,” Cumberland County Schools Associate Superintendent Lindsay Whitley said, according to WRAL. “We appreciate our strong partnership with law enforcement officials who responded immediately and are handling the investigation.”

Fayetteville is about 65 miles south of Raleigh.


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