Salt Lake man charged with trying to hijack UTA bus

A Salt Lake man was charged Tuesday, March 16, 2021,
with trying to hijack a Utah Transit Authority bus.

(Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

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SALT LAKE CITY — A Salt Lake man was charged Tuesday with trying to hijack a Utah Transit Authority bus.

Francis Xavier Barth, 61, is charged in 3rd District Court with assault with intent to commit a bus hijacking and criminal mischief, both second-degree felonies.

On Saturday, near 510 N. Terminal Drive, the road leading into the Salt Lake City International Airport, Barth was the last person on a UTA bus after the driver made all his other stops, when he "became upset and started yelling he needed to go back to Mexico and was going to kill (the bus driver)," according to charging documents.

"Drive the bus or I will," Barth told the driver, according to the charges. "I will throw you and back the bus over you."

Barth then grabbed a fire extinguisher, sprayed it "all over the bus," then threw the extinguisher at the driver, the charges state.

Security video from inside the bus shows the driver stopping and getting off, and Barth getting into the driver's seat and attempting to drive away, "but is unable to find the release for the emergency brake," the charging documents say.

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Pat Reavy is a longtime police and courts reporter. He joined the team in 2021, after many years of reporting at the Deseret News and KSL NewsRadio before that.


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