New York City bus allegedly hijacked by man with ‘what appeared to be a firearm,’ bus crashes after driver jumps out window

A suspect is in custody after allegedly hijacking a New York City bus Thursday morning with “what appeared to be a firearm,” police officials said.

The 44-year-old man allegedly ran in front of the bus with what appeared to be a gun just after 7:30 a.m. in the St. Albans neighborhood of Queens, New York Police Department officials said. After he boarded the bus, the driver “immediately” opened all the doors so passengers could get off, NYPD Deputy Chief John Clune said.

There were about 20 to 25 passengers on the bus before the male suspected came on board, NYPD Deputy Chief Jerry O’Sullivan said. The bus did not move until everyone was off, O’Sullivan said.

The man told the bus driver to keep on driving, said O’Sullivan. The bus continued eastbound for about 35 blocks before the driver jumped out of the driver-side window at around 7:36 a.m., Clune said.

The suspect then allegedly climbed over a partition separating the bus driver’s seat from the bus aisle and attempted to take control of the bus before striking a utility pole located about one block away, Clune said.

The suspect subsequently exited the bus and crossed the street before being apprehended by responding NYPD officers, according to Clune.

Both the bus driver and the suspect were taken to area hospitals for minor injuries and charges against the suspect are pending, Clune added.

Frank Annicaro, senior vice president for the New York City Transit Department of Buses, said that the bus driver is a 21-year-veteran of the MTA. There were no serious injuries sustained by anyone involved in the incident, Annicaro said.

O’Sullivan added that the weapon that was recovered at the scene “appears … to be a BB gun.” He also said the male suspect “appeared to be erratic.”

Electrical power in the area is expected to be out for at least three more hours due to the crash into the utility pole and all students at a school nearby were sent home for the day, O’Sullivan said.

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