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Posted on Fri, Sep 21, 2012 : 9:32 a.m.

Ex-employee arrested after taking U-M bus for joyride on I-94

By Kyle Feldscher

A 23-year-old ex-University of Michigan employee was jailed Friday morning after he was caught driving a "Big Blue" at about 4 a.m. on Interstate 94.


Steve Pepple photo |

University of Michigan Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Diane Brown said a U-M police officer made a traffic stop on South State Street at 3:45 a.m. Friday because a man was speeding.

The driver told police he was a U-M bus driver and had just seen a U-M bus leaving the yard at a time when he knew no more buses were supposed to be on the road. He told police he was speeding because he was trying to follow the bus.

The police officer went in search of the bus and found it traveling eastbound on I-94, Brown said. The officer followed the bus as it exited the freeway at Huron Street in Ypsilanti, where the former U-M transportation employee - a Romulus resident - then surrendered to police.

The 23-year-old did not appear to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs, Brown added.

The man was placed under arrest for unlawfully driving away an automobile, processed and transported to the Washtenaw County Jail, where he awaits arraignment.

Officials said they still haven't determined where the man was headed in the bus.

Kyle Feldscher covers cops and courts for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.



Mon, Sep 24, 2012 : 10:41 a.m.

I'm surprised by all of the tongue-in-cheek comments. The perp stole the bus to part it out. I'm guessing the bus was purchased at tax payers expense. Maybe some Sherlock Holmes out there can connect the dots.


Sat, Sep 22, 2012 : 11:50 a.m.

Why is it that this story, and the train car crash, merited 2 separate articles each AND being listed in the morning email twice?


Sat, Sep 22, 2012 : 1:35 a.m.

Wanted to be mayor-for-a-night - and run a county-wide bus service. ...the commandeer of big blue sped up I-94, holding true to the top speed of 35 MPH like he once knew back in town before being curbed on Huron by the somewhat smaller yet more wiley A2 police cruiser.

An Arborigine

Sat, Sep 22, 2012 : 1:19 a.m.

Glad he wan't a pilot borrowing equipment.


Sat, Sep 22, 2012 : 1:03 a.m.



Sat, Sep 22, 2012 : 12:16 a.m.

Good to know this miscreant was from out of town. I feel safer now.

Soulful Adrenaline

Fri, Sep 21, 2012 : 11:03 p.m.

If that other driver did not see him....he'd be golden! Maybe next time...


Fri, Sep 21, 2012 : 9:40 p.m.

Is Marvin "Bad News" Barnes back in town? This may be apocryphal, but legend has it that Marvin once boarded a Rhode Island Public Transit bus and demanded that he be given the money from the fare box. The driver explained he didn't have the key to the box, so Marvin threw him off the bus and drove it to a South Providence crack house. The cops simply followed the tire tracks in the new fallen snow and discovered the idling bus outside the house and arrested Marvin. Genius.


Fri, Sep 21, 2012 : 9:18 p.m.

From the UM crime log. Sep 21 2012 3:44 am Motor vehicle theft CAD#: 122650048 TRANSPORTATION SERVICES 1213 KIPKE During a traffic stop on South State St for speeding, the driver, a current U-M bus driver who just had finished his shift, reported that he was following a U-M bus that he knew should not have been on the road. The officer located the bus on I-94 and conducted a stop at the South Huron (Ypsilanti) exit arresting the driver, a former employee. He was taken to jail. Case Status: Incident Report #12-002921

Craig Lounsbury

Fri, Sep 21, 2012 : 5:50 p.m.

What would Ralph Kramden think?

John of Saline

Fri, Sep 21, 2012 : 5:47 p.m.

The old U-M buses with the scrolling route indicator on the front had one choice that would have been appropriate here: "I'M LOST"


Fri, Sep 21, 2012 : 8:27 p.m.

Not all who wander are lost.

Kitty O'Brien

Fri, Sep 21, 2012 : 5:41 p.m.

Wooo hoooo, I stole a bus!

Ron Granger

Fri, Sep 21, 2012 : 4:41 p.m.

"Now I'm drivin' the bus!"


Sat, Sep 22, 2012 : 11:44 p.m.

I would love to see that tail swing down that highway. There is a lot to learn about driving one of those babies. I know. Scary.

Billy Bob Schwartz

Fri, Sep 21, 2012 : 4 p.m.

To Steve Pepple, photographer: Great picture. You got Burton Tower and the Rackham Building in the background, and a bis similar to the one that was stolen in the foreground. I hope this business of using pictures actually relevant to the report and not borrowed from archives from ten years ago continues. Good job. Interesting story. It is nice to see a citizen help stop an alleged looney from allegedly killing someone.

Billy Bob Schwartz

Fri, Sep 21, 2012 : 4:01 p.m.

Um, that would be a bus. A bis is something else.

Larry Sk

Fri, Sep 21, 2012 : 3:33 p.m.

no citations were issued. Officer let the off duty driver go on his way.

tom wilson

Sat, Sep 22, 2012 : 9:30 p.m.

Nice catch Larry.


Fri, Sep 21, 2012 : 8 p.m.

Good job Larry!! Add this to the scrap book................


Fri, Sep 21, 2012 : 3:14 p.m.

Hopefully, the employee who alerted the police to the problem didn't get his ticket -- here is someone going above and beyond the call of their work to put the interests of public safety and their employer first.


Fri, Sep 21, 2012 : 8:19 p.m.

Why not just call the police instead of risking his life and others trying to chase it down? From the article, the police didn't even know anything about it until they pulled this guy over. How was he going to stop the bus? What was he going to do if he did catch it?


Fri, Sep 21, 2012 : 2:27 p.m.

Living the dream......


Sat, Sep 22, 2012 : 11:43 p.m.

Why do the Blues Brothers come to mind? Thanks for the thought.


Fri, Sep 21, 2012 : 4:31 p.m.

All it needed was the horn blaring 'Hail to the Victors' as he zoomed down the freeway with the other bus and police in hot pursuit.


Fri, Sep 21, 2012 : 2:16 p.m.

I don't think Clyde Barrow got started this way.

Evan Smith

Fri, Sep 21, 2012 : 2 p.m.



Fri, Sep 21, 2012 : 1:49 p.m.

Hmmmm....I wonder where he got the keys to the bus? More info to follow?

peg dash fab

Fri, Sep 21, 2012 : 6:23 p.m.

say no more, wink wink


Fri, Sep 21, 2012 : 4:35 p.m.

You need to have done it before. I don't think it's a good idea to explain on here.


Fri, Sep 21, 2012 : 3:29 p.m.

Please explain. What do you need?

Andy Frazier

Fri, Sep 21, 2012 : 1:53 p.m.

You don't need keys to drive University buses.