Bus Hijacker Charged with 7 Felony Counts

Bus Hijacker Charged with 7 Felony Counts

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WESTWATER, Utah (AP) -- The man who allegedly hijacked a Greyhound bus with a knife was charged Tuesday with seven felony counts, including aggravated robbery and aggravated kidnapping.

Antonio Hernandez-Hernandez, 29, took control of the bus Monday afternoon on Interstate 70 in Grand County after attacking the bus driver with a knife, according to the Grand County Attorney's office. He was captured just west of the Colorado state line after a half-hour standoff with the Utah Highway Patrol.

Hernandez-Hernandez told authorities he had been drinking tequila and wanted to get to Lexington, Neb., where his estranged wife lived, said Deputy Brent Pace of the Grand County Sheriff's Department. There, he intended "either to hurt himself or harm her," Pace said.

Besides the robbery and kidnapping charges, Hernandez-Hernandez was charged with attempted criminal homicide, bus hijacking, assault with intent to commit hijacking, assault with intent to commit hijacking and boarding a bus with a concealed dangerous weapon.

The Grand County Attorney's Office said Monday Hernandez-Hernandez was from southern California, but was not more specific. He was earlier identified as being from Lexington, Neb.

The bus, en route from Los Angeles to Chicago, had just left Green River, about 200 miles southeast of Salt Lake City, and was headed to Grand Junction, Colo., when Hernandez-Hernandez started to behave in a "threatening" manner, said Grand County attorney Happy Morgan in a press release.

A driver and an off-duty driver were on the bus carrying approximately 59 passengers. During a scuffle with the off-duty driver, Hernandez-Hernandez stabbed him in the hand before putting a knife to the throat of the driver and threatening to kill him. He ordered him to pull over and for all passengers and the extra driver to get off, Morgan said.

A passing motorist called 911 and a chase ensued. The bus traveled about 68 miles before the driver slowed the vehicle down and jumped out as Hernandez-Hernandez walked toward the back of the bus to use the restroom, Pace said.

Hernandez-Hernandez barricaded himself in the bus for about half an hour before surrendering. He was taken to the Grand County Jail at Moab.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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