Hijacker Leads Atlanta Police On 27-Mile Chase In Bus With 17 People On Board

Gif: ABC News
Gif: ABC News

A bus in Atlanta was hijacked on Tuesday afternoon, leading to a wild 30-mile police chase that left one person dead and 17 riders scared for their lives.

The whole ordeal sounds like something out of a “Speed” movie. Joseph Grier, a passenger on the Gwinnett County Transit bus got into an argument with another passenger, 58-year-old Earnest Byrd Jr, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation who spoke with Fox 5:

According to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Grier got into an argument with a passenger, which eventually escalated into a fight. When the passenger pulled out a gun, the GBI says Grier took the gun, threatened other passengers, and then shot the man he was fighting with. Grier then forced the bus driver to take off, police say. Multiple police officers began chasing the bus.

The bus went from downtown Atlanta onto I-85. During the chase one of the passengers did something that provided helpful information to the police as Atlanta News First reports:

ADVERTISEMENT police were pursuing the bus, 911 dispatch got a call from a family member of a person onboard, saying he was receiving text messages that there was a hijacking and hostage situation on the bus.

He said a person on the bus then called 911, and the line remained open throughout the chase, providing law enforcement with valuable information to end the situation.

The bus driver did his part as well. Despite having a gun to his head, the driver managed to get the bus to display the outside message of “Emergency” and “Call Police 911” while the bus was being pursued. The chase went into Georgia’s DeKalb County and authorities tried multiple times to stop the bus, using things like stop sticks to try and blow the tires. The bus hit several vehicles during the chase but kept going. Eventually the bus came to a stop some 27 miles from where it began. DeKalb County SWAT team immediately placed a Bearcat in front of the bus just in case Grier got any ideas. Thankfully, none of the other passengers required any treatment.

Authorities took Grier into custody and found he has a long rap sheet going back to 2005. He’s been charged with everything from child molestation to aggravated assault, to violating probation and aggravated battery. Now he can add some other charges to his pile; one count of murder, 14 counts of kidnapping, first-degree motor vehicle hijacking, 13 counts of aggravated assault and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. It’s safe to say this guy won’t be riding a bus again anytime soon.

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