Muskogee County School Bus Stolen After Car Runs Out Of Gas

Friday, February 21st 2014, 3:45 pm
By: News On 6

A school bus is back in safe hands after two people were arrested when deputies chased it into another county. A Midway Schools bus driver had the bus running before her morning route, when her family heard the bus tear out of the neighborhood.

The bus driver's husband said when he heard the school bus leaving their backyard he immediately jumped in his truck and called 911.

It's one of the last things you'd think someone would want to steal, a bright yellow school bus.

"I didn't know what they had in there. I didn't know what they were going to do," said Robert Lang, who placed the 911 call.

Lang said his wife was inside their home whit the bus warming up in the driveway just after 6 a.m. when three people got in and took off. Without shoes, Lang ran after the bus as it headed down the road through Boynton.

Lang didn't know who was in the bus, but he decided to follow them all the way down the road near Dewar.

"I just wasn't going to let the bus go cause I knew somebody was in it that wasn't supposed to be in it," Lang said.

Muskogee County Deputies caught up with the bus in McIntosh County.

Brandon Caster with the Muskogee County Sheriff's Office, said, "We had a deputy catch up to it eventually and a pursuit started from there."

Deputies turned on their lights and siren, the bus stopped and two people jumped out and ran. Deputies caught up with Leopoldo Lopez after he jumped a fence. They found Lopez hiding in a storage shed.

Deputies arrested a second person, who is underage, and booked him for resisting arrest and vandalism. They say the suspects were out driving around when their car ran out of gas; that's when they jumped into the bus.

"I was just doing what I thought was best, which is save the bus, save if for the school," Lang said.

Lopez was arrested on complains of motor vehicle theft, resisting arrest and vandalism.

The bus is worth $80,000, it's going to cost the district extra money to replace a radio that deputies said the suspects ripped out.