Rider Boots Driver, Carjacks SuperShuttle Airport Van

By Frank Elaridi

Apr 15, 2014 2:03pm

SuperShuttle passengers bound for San Francisco International Airport took a scary detour when one of the riders booted the driver and commandeered the van.

The shuttle was picking up travelers from their hotels in the downtown area Sunday when the suspect boarded the van without a reservation, claiming that his girlfriend had booked his ride to the airport, officials said.

The ride turned bumpy at the next stop.

“The driver was assisting a passenger with her luggage, and that’s when the suspect jumped into the driver seat and attempted to drive away,” Officer Albie Esparza told ABCNews.com today. “The car was turned on, because it was a quick stop.

“The driver attempted to stop the suspect from driving off with the vehicle.”

None of the passengers was injured, despite an ensuing altercation. “The passengers were able to get out of the van by overcoming the suspect,” Esparza said. “There was a brief struggle between the suspect and the passengers.”

He said, “It’s not a robbery; he didn’t rob any passengers of their belongings, or harm them. They just got out of their shuttle and went on their way.

“We’re very grateful that no one was injured. It’s a strange incident, his intent is unknown, so we’re just glad no one was injured.”

The shuttle was found abandoned in Alameda County, and the suspect is still at large.

SuperShuttle spokeswoman Margaret Nathan said the driver allowed the man aboard without a reservation “in case it was lost or missing.”

She said the surveillance camera on the van only starts filming when there is an accident, so there are no images of the suspect.

Nathan knew of no incident like this one in the company’s decades-long history and, she said, “We think it’s weird that somebody would try to hijack such a high-profile company van.”

The passengers, who won’t be charged for the trip, can look forward to an upgraded black car ride on their next trip to the airport.

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