An Army trainee in South Carolina has been charged after he allegedly hijacked a school bus packed with children. The suspect was identified as Jovan Collazo, 23, of New Jersey. Officials said Collazo was armed, but no one was injured in the incident.
Collazo will face dozens of charges, including 19 counts of kidnapping for the 18 children and driver on board, according to Sheriff Leon Lott, of Richland County. Lott said it was “probably one of the scariest calls we can get in law enforcement.”
Brigadier General Milford Beagle said the recruit jumped the fence at Fort Jackson in an attempt to return home. Beagle said his weapon “did not have ammunition but those on the bus would not know that.”
The elementary school students on the bus were more than he could handle. “The kids started asking lots of questions to the suspect,” Lott said. “The suspect got a little frustrated.”
Lott said the trainee let the children and the driver off the bus then continued to drive for a couple more miles. He eventually left the rifle on the bus and went through neighborhoods attempting to get rides and clothes, Lott said.
“You can just imagine they were scared to death,” Lott said, CBS affiliate WLTX reported. “I’ll give the bus driver credit, he kept his cool. His main concern was the safety of the kids and he did his job.”