A man hijacked a New York City bus with a fake gun Thursday morning and crashed it into a utility pole outside an elementary school, a little over a block after the bus driver escaped by jumping out the window, police said.
A 44-year-old suspect, whom police did not publicly identify, was arrested. Police said he flashed what they said was likely a BB gun at the driver of an eastbound Q4 bus at Linden Boulevard and 197th Street, in Queens, from outside the bus before he got on board shortly after 7:20 a.m.
When the man got on the bus, he put the fake gun in his waistband and demanded the driver keep going, alleging that he was being chased, police said. At that point, the driver opened all the bus doors, allowing the 20 to 25 passengers to escape — a decision officials praised him for.
About 15 minutes later, roughly a mile and a half from where the man hijacked the bus, the driver escaped by jumping out the driver's side window, at Linden Boulevard and 232nd Street, police said.
The man briefly took the wheel before he crashed the bus into a utility pole about a block and a half later, on Linden Boulevard between 233rd and 234th streets, just outside an elementary school.
Video of the scene shows the utility pole lying horizontally across the bus roof.
The man tried to flee, but police arrested him across the street from the crash, police said.
The school was in session, and students were sent home, officials said.
The area was expected to suffer power outages into the early afternoon as a result of the crash.
Both the bus driver and the suspect were treated for minor injuries at hospitals, officials said.
Charges are pending, and the investigation continues.