This morning at approximately 11:00a.m. a black male, wearing a camouflage jacket with “twists” in his hair, boarded an empty Star Metro bus at C.K. Steele Plaza got behind the wheel and began to drive westbound on Tennessee Street. A pursuit was initiated until information was provided that the suspect was the only occupant. At this point the pursuit was called off, placing the safety of the public above the need to stop a Star Metro bus thief.
The driver, later identified as James Shaw Jr., 26, continued westbound on West Tennessee Street, striking another vehicle at the intersection of West Tennessee Street and Appleyard Drive. Instead of stopping, Shaw continued driving the bus westbound and entered the city limits of Quincy, Florida. The bus crashed at the intersection of East Jefferson Street and South Patton Street, hitting a light pole. Deputies with the Gadsden County Sheriff’s Office were able to apprehend Shaw before he fled the scene. Shaw has been booked into the Gadsden County Jail at this time and charges are pending.
“With a fast response and the cooperation of the surrounding agencies, we were able to apprehend this criminal. I would like to thank all the departments involved for their help today in keeping the public safe.” said Chief Dennis Jones. Here is a sequence of events that occured this morning as reported to the Tallahassee Democrat:
Gadsden County Sheriff’s Office has released the name of the man arrested in connection with the stolen StarMetro bus.
James Curtis Shaw, Jr., 26, of Quincy was taken into custody after the bus in which he was fleeing Tallahassee crashed into a telephone pole and an iron fence at a car dealership on Highway 90 at Shadow Street, according to GCSO.
The bus was forced off the road by Sgt. Jeff Marks, who cut the bus off in his patrol car.There were no injuries reported.
Highway 90 is closed at Shadow Street south to McArthur, after a stolen StarMetro bus crashed after fleeing Tallahassee.
The suspect was taken into custody by the Gadsden County Sheriff’s Office after crashing into a telephone pole and an iron fence at a car dealership on the corner, said Ulysses Jenkins, spokesman for the GCSO.
The suspect, whose name has not yet been release, is being held at the Gadsden County Jail. He is facing charges of reckless driving and property damage in Gadsden County.
A stolen StarMetro bus has crashed in Quincy, said Capt. Mark Brown of the Florida Highway Patrol.
The bus crashed at U.S. Highway 90 and Shadow Drive, Brown said.
“It struck a power pole, and I belive there are lines down,” Brown said. “And they have U.S. 90 in that area shut down.”
The person suspected of taking the bus is in custody, Brown added.
Ron Garrison, executive director of StarMetro, said the bus was stolen from C.K. Steele Plaza about 11 a.m.
A Tallahassee police officer at the plaza may have witnessed the theft of the bus, Garrison said, but was unable to prevent it.
A StarMetro bus has been stolen from the main plaza on Tennessee Street, said Dave Northway, TPD spokesman.
The suspect driving is a black man about 25-years-old with twists in his hair. He is wearing a camouflage jacket.
According to TPD, they don’t believe anyone is on the bus other than the suspect.
The bus is heading west out of town on Highway 90. TPD has stopped pursuit of the bus for safety, said Northway, adding that because there are no passengers, it is more dangerous to chase it through traffic.
We will update as soon as we have something.
A Star Metro bus was seen speeding down the wrong direction of West Tennessee Street this morning with numerous law-enforcement vehicles giving chase.
Tallahassee City Commissioner Gil Ziffer saw the bus going “very fast” heading west on Tennessee Street before jumping the median.
“I saw a StarMetro bus heading west in the westbound lane and then the bus traversed over the median and then was in the eastbound lane heading west.”
The bus got back in the westbound lanes around Tennessee and High Road.
“I could see it was one person, a driver, and the rest of the bus seemed empty,” Ziffer said.