Nude Man Hijacked Atlanta School Bus
ATLANTA - Parents are calling for better security on school buses a day after a naked man tried to hijack an Atlanta school bus carrying 10 teenage students.
On Thursday, police say 23-year-old Arris Pitmon entered the school bus after attacking the bus driver and began fighting with students, who were on their way home from Forrest Hill Academy.
"I've never heard of this, said Ayabi Logan, who drove up on the scene just after the incident ended. "I mean, how do you just jump on a bus, naked? Why do you do this to children? It's a school bus!"
Police said one of the students tried to get control of the steering wheel while others were jumping off.
"A student attempted to take control," said Keyes. "However, the suspect saw the student's actions and began fighting with the student. The school bus continued in motion, left the roadway and crashed into a wall about 175 feet off the roadway."
Tequella Thompson took her 16-year-old daughter, Sanquan, to Grady with a possible back injury.
"The bus was still moving when he (Pitmon) threw her off the back of the bus, he pushed her off the back of the bus," Thompson said. "Some of them were jumping off and he was pushing some of them off."
Just before 4 p.m. Thursday, Pitmon was inside a nearby convenience store, but left quickly after acting erratically.
"He was just looking here and there, and I thought he was just looking for somebody," said the manager, Mohamed Gulhamid. "And then, suddenly, he started acting crazy. He was OK last night when I saw him, he came here, he was OK. But when I saw him today, he was acting totally crazy."
Witnesses said a naked Pitmon was seen running north on Boulevard Drive when the bus drove by.
"Pitmon approached the driver side of the bus and attempted to enter the bus through the window," said Atlanta Police Sgt. Lisa Keyes in a statement e-mailed to news outlets Thursday night. "After a short altercation at the window, the male was able to enter the bus through the window by overpowering the bus driver. The suspect took control of the bus and then while the bus was in motion left the steering wheel and went after the bus driver, who had fled to the rear of the bus with students."
Chiquita Rogers said Pitmon swung at some of the students, including her 16-year-old son, Donte.
"He pushed my son, and that's when my son hit him. I guess everybody started swinging, and everybody just started out the back door, jumping."
Rogers took her son to Grady Memorial Hospital with possibly broken ribs.
Several bystanders rushed to the bus and caught the man as he tried to run away.
"He got a condom on," and nothing else, said Jeff Thomas. "I had to jump him and hold him down. About 20 people were holding him down," face down in the grass and mud.
Turner said the man put up a fight, and did not speak, he was incoherent and appeared disoriented.
Parents called for the school district to take steps to prevent a similar situation in the future.
"It's devastating," for the students and their parents, said Tequella Thompson. "I think they need to hire more people to help on those buses. Just get some more parents to volunteer or anything to help prevent this from happening again."
"I'm just grateful that my son is still alive, because it could have been worse," said Chiquita Rogers. "The kids are trying to go to school, and then have to go through something like this on the way home from school, I just think it's really sad, and something needs to be done about it."