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Who is Jovan Collazo ( Army Trainee Charged for Hijacking School Bus ) Wiki, Bio, Age, Crime, Incident details, Investigations and More Facts

Jovan Collazo

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Army Trainee Charged after Hijacking School Bus

An Army intern was arrested and charged with dozens of crimes after authorities said Thursday he got on a school bus in South Carolina with a gun and held the driver and elementary school students hostage before letting them get off the bus .

At a news conference, Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott said the incident started around 7 a.m. near Fort Jackson, the U.S. Army’s largest basic training facility in Colombia. The detainee, dressed in gym clothes, “escaped the station and escaped” with a rifle from the facility, Lott said. Members then received calls about someone standing on a nearby freeway signaling cars.

Suspect Identified

The inmate, whom Lott later identified as Jovan Collazo, then walked to the nearby bus stop where the children were waiting to be taken to Forest Lake Elementary School, Lott said, and got on the bus with a gun.

“He told the bus driver that he didn’t want to hurt anyone. He wanted me to take him to the next town, ”said Lott.

A video Lott posted at a press conference Thursday evening showed Collazo getting on the bus and yelling at the driver to close the door and drive. He was on board with the students and the driver for a total of six minutes, the sheriff said.

Some of the 18 kids on the bus used cell phones to call their parents and let them know what was going on, Lott said. After several of the children repeatedly asked if Collazo intended to harm them or the driver, the apprentice “got a little frustrated” and ordered the bus to be stopped so the driver and drivers could stop. Then he rode the bus for several kilometers before putting it inside with the gun.

Collazo “then wandered the neighborhoods,” said Lott in search of clothes, was later discovered by MPs and arrested without incident.

A spokeswoman for the Richland Two School District said the bus was carrying elementary school children. As a precautionary measure, security was tightened at several schools in the area and no one was allowed in or out of the buildings, he said.

“A very scary situation this morning,” Lott said of the incident, which lasted about an hour.

This is at least the second high-profile incident in recent weeks that has involved a Fort Jackson-based soldier. Last month, a Fort Jackson soldier was charged with third degree assault and suspended after an online video showed him chasing a black man into his neighborhood.

Lott said Collazo was in his third week of basic training at the facility. During a press conference Thursday, Brigadier General Milford H. Beagle Jr. of Fort Jackson said the apprentice was 23 years old and had no ammunition in his gun, which was supplied as part of his training.

“He was a very calm person, originally from New Jersey … and we felt like he just wanted to go home,” said Beagle.

The trainees took a break after breakfast when the man left the base. He’s likely packed his unloaded gun as leaving it behind would warn superiors of his absence, Beagle said.

“There’s nothing that makes us believe … if it has something to do with hurting others, hurting yourself, or doing anything else. Harmful activity,” he added.

Beagle said the incident highlighted “a material flaw in our accountability processes that I will correct in the future as the outcome could have been much worse.”

Collazo faces dozens of charges, including 19 kidnapping cases, as well as cases of car theft, possession of a gun on school grounds, armed robbery and gun possession during a violent crime. No lawyer was mentioned in the court records and he was held in prison on Thursday afternoon.

Beagle said the military could also take disciplinary action of their own, including allegations of unauthorized absence and theft of a weapon on the base.

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