Metro officials have confirmed that a man hijacked a Rapid Line 720 bus in Los Angeles the evening of Dec. 30 and forced the driver to take him to Santa Monica.

The man boarded the bus at Barrington Avenue and Wilshire Boulevard near the Sawtelle neighborhood at about 6:15 p.m, a Los Angeles County Metro Transportation Authority (Metro) spokesperson said. The man threatened the female bus operator with a knife and she hit the duress button inside the bus to alert law enforcement.

Los Angeles Police Department officers followed the bus and intercepted it at the intersection of 5th Street and Wilshire Boulevard in Santa Monica soon after.

The Metro spokesperson said the suspect was arrested and booked by the Santa Monica Police Department.

Dan McGee and Catherine Lerer, who run the West Los Angeles law firm McGee, Lerer & Associates, saw the bus pull over on Wilshire Boulevard just before it reached 5th Street.

McGee said he saw that the bus had no passengers and heard a woman screaming “Get off of me” inside. As a crowd of people gathered, one man went to the door of the bus and asked if she needed help.

Bystanders saw through the door a man who appeared to be homeless leaning over the driver, who was struggling to get away, McGee said. Someone pulled the man off the driver and he ran west down Wilshire Boulevard in the middle of the street.

McGee said he saw two SMPD officers run down the street after the man.

The incident was widely reported on Nextdoor and Facebook, where posters said the man entered the bus in Downtown Los Angeles on Dec. 31.

SMPD was not able to provide more details about the arrest by press time.

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1 Comment

  1. In the beginning of the story, the suspect entered the bus at Wilshire & Barrington on December 30.
    At the end of the story it states the man boarded the bus on December 31 in Downtown Los Angeles.

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