By Andrew Damstedt
A man accused of hijacking a bus is facing felony charges.
A passenger on the Greyhound bus, Antonio Hernadez-Hernadez, from Southern California, who was traveling to see his estranged wife produced a large knife and threatened to take control of the bus. On the bus there were two drivers and 59 passengers.
The driver who was not driving the bus attempted to stop Hernadez from reaching the front of the bus but Hernadez attempted to stab the driver in the throat, said Happy J. Morgan, Grand County Attorney. Hernadez reached the driver driving the bus and threatened to kill him with a knife and pulled the knife to his throat.
The bus was traveling eastbound on Interstate 70 en route from Los Angeles to Chicago and was headed to Grand Junction, Colo., when the man ordered all of the passengers off and one of the drivers off the bus.
A passing motorist saw the passengers leave the bus and called 911 with information regarding the incident, Morgan said.
When police arrived Hernadez ordered the driver to ram in to the vehicle of Sgt. Rich Haycock who was in front of the bus, the driver refused and they continued driving on the interstate, Morgan said.
The hijacker went to the back of the bus and started to go through luggage when the remaining driver pulled the emergency brake slowing the bus down to around 10 mph and jumped out, Morgan said.
“He has some cuts and scrapes, a little road rash… he”s OK,” patrol spokesperson Chris Kramer said.
The bus came to a stop around milepost 228 with Hernadez still inside. After a standoff that lasted 30 minutes, Hernadez was taken into custody to the Grand County Jail.
No one was seriously injured.
Hernadez has been charged with three first-degree felonies, aggravated robbery, aggravated kidnapping and bus hijacking. He has also been charged with four second-degree felonies, attempted criminal homicide, two assaults with intent to commit hijacking and boarding a bus with concealed dangerous weapon.
All of the passengers were put onto another bus and sent on their way.
“We”re happy that all of them are safe, ” said Kim Plaskett, spokesperson for Greyhound. “This type of aggressive behavior in a passenger is a rare occurrence.”