A Florida man became violent, stole a school bus, fled from sheriff’s deputies, and crashed the bus before being apprehended.
The Holmes County Sheriff’s Office said the incident occurred on June 30 when the suspect, James Irvin Bourgeois, first went to a residence in Holmes County and allegedly hit the owner with a hammer after being denied a ride. Bourgeois then unsuccessfully attempted to break into another house, breaking the glass in the front door and a window. When the homeowner confronted Bourgeois, he ran to Bethlehem School.
He was pursued there by an off-duty trooper who was passing by and witnessed the incicent. After trying to steal a postal worker's vehicle and being held at gunpoint by an armed citizen at the school, Bourgeois jumped into a school bus and took off.
Driving erratically, Bourgeois was pursued by law enforcement. He drove into oncoming traffic and swerved in attempts to strike deputies. The Holmes County Sheriff’s Office says that, due to the suspect’s “disregard for lives,” they wanted to stop him from reaching the nearby town of Bonifay and possibly hurting civilians there, so several deputies surrounded the bus and shot at the tires. Their efforts succeeded and a tire came off.
Bourgeois crashed the bus in some woods just outside of town. He allegedly fought with deputies as he was taken into custody and now faces numerous felony charges.
The homeowner he attacked with the hammer sustained minor injuries.