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Knife-wielding man carjacks Arkansas school bus; chase ensues

October 17, 2013|By Matt Pearce | This post has been updated. See below for details.

A 22-year-old man with a knife took control of a school bus with 11 elementary school students on board Thursday morning in Jacksonville, Ark., leading police on a chase that was partially captured on video, authorities said. 

No one was injured, police told The Times. 

The suspect, Nicholas John Miller, first attempted to carjack a woman who didn't have a car, police said. Then he got behind the steering wheel of the school bus, with the driver staying on board with the students. The bus headed north out of Jacksonville, a line of siren-screaming police cruisers in pursuit, said April Kiser, a spokeswoman for the Jacksonville Police Department.

On Thursday, police laid down a spike strip in front of the school bus, prompting the carjacker to pull over and give up without a struggle, police told The Times. 

Miller was charged with one felony count of vehicle piracy, 12 counts of kidnapping and two felony counts of aggravated assault.

[Updated 2:28 p.m. PST, Oct, 17: According to an arrest report released by Jacksonville police, Miller told police he needed to take over the bus to “save his life,” adding that there “were people after him, and the only way to get away was to hijack the bus.” He told police he never intended to hurt anybody on the bus and left the knife on the dash before he was arrested.]

It's been a eventful year for Miller, according to arrest reports obtained by The Times. Less than two weeks ago, he was arrested on suspicion of threatening to "choke and kill" his wife in an argument over their baby son, according to one report.

His wife told police that Miller used meth, and just four days earlier, police had found a syringe in his car when he was pulled over, according to another report. He was also arrested in May on suspicion of stealing a shotgun, a knife and money out of someone's SUV. It was not clear whether the arrests resulted in charges.


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