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Police: School Bus Hijacking Suspect Says He Did it to 'Save His Life'

The man accused of hijacking a school bus carrying 11 students Thursday morning reportedly told police he did it to save his own life.
JACKSONVILLE, AR -- (KARK) The man accused of hijacking a school bus carrying 11 students Thursday morning reportedly told police he did it to save his own life.

According to the Jacksonville Police Department (JPD) arrest report, Nicholas John Miller has been charged with vehicle piracy, fleeing, DWI-drugs, refusal, reckless driving, 12 counts of kidnapping and two counts of aggravated assault.

A witness that saw Miller get on the bus in the 1000 block of North First Street told police he first asked her for her car, but she told him she didn't have one. He then pulled out a knife and told her it would be in her best interest to give him the car, but she again told him she didn't have one. The woman then stopped four children from getting on the bus, according to the report.

Shortly after, officers responded to the call at Stonewall Apartments that a man, later identified as Miller, was making threats as he got on a school bus with a knife. Miller forced the bus driver to drive away northbound on North First Street, then forced her to get up so he could take over driving.

The officer located the school bus and turned on the siren and lights, but instead of stopping, Miller continued north onto Old 67, where he hit a guard rail support before running a stop sign at John Harden Drive at around 40 miles per hour, according to the report.

The suspect then reportedly continued until reaching Highway 5 in Cabot, where he turned left through a red light and entered the highway, subsequently driving through another red light at the Highway 89 intersection.

According to the report, officers placed spike strips at Mountain Spring Road, but Miller veered off the road and slowed to a stop before hitting them.

The original driver and all 11 children exited the bus while Miller was taken into custody, the knife he used still lying on the dash.

Miller then told police that people were after him, and the only way he could escape was to hijack the bus. He said he never intended to harm the bus driver or the children, but that he needed to commandeer the bus in order to save his own life, the report states.

Officers then drew blood from the suspect, but he refused a breath test and an interview with a Drug Recognition Officer.
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