Teen's Metrobus Joyride Ends in Multiple Charges

A D.C. teen discovers driving a Metrobus is harder than it looks

By John Adams
|  Tuesday, Jul 13, 2010  |  Updated 6:51 AM EDT
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The Metro bus yard where a teen was able to drive off with a bus Friday is getting a series of security changes. One councilmember says the improvements aren't nearly enough.

Derrick Ward

The Metro bus yard where a teen was able to drive off with a bus Friday is getting a series of security changes. One councilmember says the improvements aren't nearly enough.

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The Metro Transit Police Department arrested William Jackson, 19, and charged him with unauthorized use of a vehicle and fleeing the scene of an accident.

Transit officials reported that Jackson, while wearing a bus driver's uniform, took a bus from within Metro's Bladensburg facility.

Transit police continue to investigate how the teen got his hands on a driver's uniform, entered the facility and drove off with a Metrobus without anyone noticing.

Metro said Monday the investigation should be complete by the end of the week, but in the meantime, the agency already is increasing security at bus facilities, including implementing further security checks of personnel entering and exiting the facilities.

One witness said she didn't think the incident was too strange.

“I thought he was a trainee or something,” said Shakita Engram.

Passenger Marcus Harris said everything seemed normal until the bus crashed.

MTPD said Jackson drove from the facility, stopping to pick up and drop off passengers and collect fares before eventually striking a tree at 17th Street and Massachusetts Avenue at about 4:15 p.m. Friday.

Harris almost dropped his infant daughter, he said.

“He hit the tree and the whole branch just fell on top of the bus and broke some glass,” said Engram.

Another witness alerted Metro police, and they pulled the bus over, ending the joyride.

Jackson hopped out of the bus and made a run for it, but was apprehended by police just a few blocks away, according to police.

"At first I thought he was going to lose his job," said Marcus Dockery, who witnessed the crash and helped chase the fleeing suspect down. "When he ran for it, I thought, 'OK, he's going to get locked up.'"

There were no injuries reported as a result of the accident, according to transit officials.

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