The man accused of hijacking a school bus has been caught! That's right, folks, a school bus was hijacked on its way to school! The alleged hijacker, Nicholas John Miller, is now facing 12 charges of kidnapping -- one each for the 11 elementary school children terrorized during the ordeal, plus one for the bus driver.
Let's get the good news out of the way. The children are all OK despite 20 minutes of pure terror on what should have been a normal, everyday, boring ride to school.
But let's talk, just for a moment, about the kind of person who hijacks a SCHOOL BUS.
Cops say Miller had first tried to get a car from an unidentified woman, who said she didn't have one. Noticing the bus stopped nearby, police say Miller boarded the school vehicle armed with a knife and forced the driver out from behind the wheel, then took police on a 10-mile chase with the driver and all 11 kids on board held captive. The ordeal finally ended when spike strips were deployed by police.
If you've ever been on a school bus, you know they aren't exactly designed for outmaneuvering anyone, least of all cops. They're big, bulky, solid.
That alone should make them unlikely targets for hijacking -- at least for anyone with common sense.
But what else do we know about school buses? Oh, right. They're made for getting a lot of small children to and from school safely. So it stands to reason that a person hijacking a giant yellow bus early in the morning would know there were kids on board. It likewise stands to reason that a bus full of kids would be off-limits to criminals, that there would be at least a modicum of respect for the children and their innocence.
And yet, that's not what cops say happened here at all. A man took a knife aboard a school bus and hijacked it ... kids and all.
In addition to the kidnapping charges, Miller faces one felony count of vehicle piracy and two felony counts of aggravated assault. He's a repeat offender who is currently on probation for breaking and entering a vehicle, and stealing a shotgun and money, so chances are they will be throwing the book at him if he's convicted.
But no sentence can really help those kids erase the images now in their minds, or help ease parents' minds when we put our children on the bus in the morning. Once school buses are targets for hijacking, who knows what's next ...
Check out the video made by a passing motorist of the police chasing the bus:
What's your biggest worry when you put your kids on the school bus?
Image via bsabarnowl/Flickr