12-Year-Old Steals Bus, Goes for Joyride in Bangor, Maine | NECN


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12-Year-Old Steals Bus, Goes for Joyride in Bangor, Maine

A man jumped on the bus and ended the boy's ride



    A 12-year-old boy stole a bus, and took it for a ride, in Bangor, Maine. (Published Saturday, May 7, 2016)

    Talk about a joyride - a 12-year-old boy stole a school bus and took it for a drive, according to police in Bangor, Maine.

    John St. Germain was in the passenger seat when he and his friend, Amanda, saw a bus driving dangerously in front of them. In cell phone video, it can be seen swerving, hitting the sidewalk and signs.

    "At first it was comical, because we both thought it was a new driver - like someone being taught how to drive a bus," said St. Germain.

    And it was a new driver - a very young one.

    "I kind of saw his body structure [when the bus turned] and I was like, 'Oh my gosh - I think that's a kid," said St. Germain. "That's when it got scary."

    Police say the child got access to the keys of a bus at the Bangor Cyr bus lines terminal and took it for spin.

    As his friend called police, St. Germain decided he had to intervene.

    "I was like, 'Alright, I'm going to take over,'" he said.

    John W. St.Germain III with Officer Jose Vidaurri
    Photo credit: Bangor Police

    St. Germain stopped recording the video, jumped out of his car, and run up to the bus. The doors were slightly ajar, so he managed to get inside the slowly-moving vehicle. Then, he came face-to-face with the child driver.

    "He didn't realize I was there for about 10 seconds or so, and then he looked at me and said 'I know what I'm doing,'" said St. Germain.

    And then the kid kept driving.

    "Then I kind of took the wheel, and put my foot on the brake, and then stopped the bus," St. Germain said. "I looked at him and said 'Alright, you need to get in the back now.'"

    But the boy hopped off the bus and walked away. Police eventually caught him and charged him with operating without a license and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.

    Authorities called St. Germain to the police station.

    "I thought 'I'm going to get in trouble for this. I'm going to go to jail or something, because I just high-jacked a bus,'" he said.

    St. Germain was relieved, and honored, to learn the Bangor Police Department wanted to give him a challenge coin as an award.

    "The term 'hero' is thrown around a lot, but this guy is a hero," said Bangor Police Sgt. Tim Cotton. "He stopped something from happening, he stopped injuries to the 12-year-old boy, he may have stopped other damage."

    On the Bangor Police Department's Facebook page, Cotton writes that St. Germain very likely saved lives by taking action. The post has gone viral, and St. Germain isn't sure what to make of all the attention.

    "I just did what anyone would have done," St. Germain said.

    The boy was taken into custody.

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