POSTED: Tuesday, December 18, 2012 - 5:46pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, December 18, 2012 - 6:05pm
PALESTINE — A Palestine ISD school bus was almost stolen while kids were still on board.
It happened just before 8:00 am on Tuesday, at the Timber Crest Apartments on the 1000 block of Sugar Lane, where a man allegedly got onto the school bus and attempted to drive away.
Police believe that the 30-year-old man may have been involved in a fight at the apartment complex, and was attempting to get away before police arrived.
The school bus driver was in the aisle of the bus helping a student when the man entered the bus and sat in the driver's seat.
When the driver noticed the intruder, he approached him.
An apartment maintenance employee and an off-duty corrections employee saw the incident and attempted to help the driver.
They struggled for a time before the three men were able to pull the man from the bus, and subdue him onto the ground.
They held him until police arrived.
A short time later, Palestine Police officers arrived on scene, and the man was taken to the Anderson County jail.
He has been charged with Attempted Aggravated Kidnapping, which is a 2nd degree felony.
If convicted, he could face up to 20 years in prison.
There were about 12-15 students on the bus at the time of the incident. None were harmed. Their names will not be released.
Palestine ISD officials told KETK they are "grateful to the bus driver and the apartment managers for their efforts in subduing the perpetrator and keeping the students safe."