A school bus was hijacked Thursday morning in Arkansas by a man, armed with a knife, who says he had no choice but to jack the bus in order to flee from assailants who were chasing him, reports CNN on Oct. 17.
The Jacksonville, Ark. Police Department caught the hijacker, 22-year-old Nicholas John Miller, and booked him on multiple counts: vehicle piracy, fleeing, DWI and driving under the influence of drugs, refusing arrest, reckless driving, 12 counts of kidnapping and two counts of aggravated assault.
Miller confronted a woman outside of the bus near a group of children, demanding that she turn over her car to him. When she replied that she didn’t have a car, he brandished the knife and threatened her, allegedly saying, “It’s in your best interests to give me your car.” Again, she told Miller she had no car, and went a step further, preventing four young children from getting on the bus.
The deranged Miller then got on the bus and forced the driver to take him a few blocks northbound on North First Street in Jacksonville, where he then demanded she get up and let him drive.
With Miller at the wheel and the bus driver and 11 terrified children in the back, Miller increased speed, hit a guard rail, blew through multiple stop signs and red lights, and led police on a ten mile chase. Miller refused to pull over despite the police detail following him.
Spike strips were laid down, and Miller then took the bus to the side of the road and slowed to a stop. He was immediately arrested and subdued; the knife was on the dash and Miller gave himself up. None of the passengers were harmed.
"We were able to get the bus stopped. The suspect was taken into custody, and nobody was injured," said Jacksonville Police Capt. Kenny Boyd, adding that Miller said he had no intention of hurting anybody.
There was no sign of any so-called assailants chasing Miller, other than the police.
CNN says Miller has a criminal record. In May, according to a police report, Miller was arrested on suspicion of breaking and entering a vehicle, and stealing a shotgun and money. He was sentenced in September to 24 months of probation.
Miller's grandmother doesn't understand her grandson's actions.
"He has a good heart. I am totally surprised," Elsie Miller said.