Police in Jacksonville, Ark., have released dramatic dash cam video of children escaping a school bus after it was allegedly hijacked by a knife-wielding man, who led police on a chase that lasted for some 12 miles, said police.
Nicholas Miller, 22, was arrested on Oct. 17 after police pursuing the bus deployed spike strips. Miller, according to police, told them he took the bus because he believed somebody was after him. He’s pleaded not guilty to 22 charges, including kidnapping.
Minutes before Miller allegedly hijacked the bus, a frantic woman called 911 describing what she witnessed.
“He got on the school bus with a knife, with the bus driver. And they’re driving down North Martin Street,” she told 911
Numerous police cars began pursuing the bus filled with 11 children, and bus driver Shelia Hart.
“And he flipped the knife out and he said, ‘Drive. Shut the door and drive,’ and that’s what I did,” Hart told ABC News. “I said, ‘OK, OK. Where do you want to go? What’s wrong?’”
Meanwhile, the 911 caller on the street was still trying to come to terms with the harrowing scene she’d witnessed earlier.
“It’s OK, just calm down, OK?” the 911 dispatcher said.
“He was some crazy freaking guy and he had a knife!” the woman shot back.
Hart, a bus driver for 20 years, said the suspect wanted to take control of the bus as police cars and sirens blared in the background.
“He wanted to switch with me while the bus was still rolling, and I said no, we can’t do that,” Hart said.
After approximately 12 miles, police used spike strips to bring the chase to an end. Police rushed the door of the bus and rapidly motioned for the children to exit quickly.
“One girl told me she was scared, and I told her it was going to be OK,” Hart said.
Miller was taken into custody without further incident.