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Suspect arrested after stealing school bus, hitting vehicles in Seattle

Police said the suspect “apparently intentionally struck many occupied vehicles” in the SoDo, Beacon Hill and Central District neighborhoods.

SEATTLE — Seattle police arrested a man Tuesday morning after he allegedly stole a school bus and struck multiple vehicles while fleeing police.

According to the Seattle Police Department (SPD), officers received a report around 7:50 a.m. that a man stole an empty bus near South Horton and Colorado Avenue South. The suspect rammed vehicles for about 15 minutes while fleeing from officers in Seattle’s SoDo and Central District neighborhoods.

The suspect swerved across traffic, ran red lights and “appeared to purposefully ram other vehicles,” according to an SPD Blotter post. The suspect then went east and rammed other vehicles with the 33,000-pound bus before reaching the intersection of Rainier Avenue S and S McClellan Street.

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Due to the ongoing risk to the public, officers pursued the suspect in the stolen bus, which police say reached speeds “upwards of 50 miles an hour.”

The suspect continued north on Rainier and turned onto 23rd Avenue before hitting a King County Metro bus. Police said the man crashed into a light rail station construction site at 23rd Avenue and Judkins Street. A King County Metro spokesperson said a bus shelter was also destroyed.

The suspect got out of the bus before running from police, who took the suspect into custody.

“Several” minor injuries were reported, police said. A spokesperson for King County Metro said the stolen bus hit a Metro coach head-on. The driver was taken to Swedish Cherry Hill with “undisclosed injuries.” No passengers were on the bus at the time of the crash.

Several major roads were partially or fully closed during the investigation, but all have since reopened.

Anyone with information, or if you believe your vehicle or property was damaged by the bus in the SoDo, Beacon Hill or Central District neighborhoods, is asked to call 911.

The suspect, who is believed to be a bus service employee who is not authorized to drive buses, will be booked for vehicular assault and auto theft.

Seattle Public Schools told KING 5 the stolen bus does not serve the school district.

TransWest, the company that owns and operates the bus, sent KING 5 the following statement: “TransWest is investigating an incident regarding a stolen company school bus this morning. We are evaluating the situation internally at this time and will be working with local law enforcement in their investigation. An individual has been arrested and is currently in custody.”

This is a developing story. Check back for updates. 

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