By Joe Johnson
An Athens man was arrested early Thursday for trying to commandeer a public school bus two weeks ago.
Frederick Jermaine Woods, 44, of East Carver Drive was arrested on warrants charging him with reckless conduct, disrupting the operation of a school bus and criminal trespass to property, according to the Clarke County Sheriff’s Office.
A police officer who viewed bus security video footage of the incident noted in an incident report that the bus driver “was visibly shocked and shaken,” and that “Mr. Woods’ reckless actions caused (the driver) to fear for the safety of every child on the bus, as well as her own.”
The incident occurred shortly before 7 a.m. Sept. 6 when a Clarke County School District bus driver stopped her bus on Martin Circle to pick up a student, according to a school district police report.
Woods reportedly entered the bus behind the student despite the driver pleading with him to not climb aboard the vehicle, the report stated.
Woods told the driver that someone was trying to kill him and ordered her to drive him down the street, according to the report.
After the driver begged Woods to get off the bus, Woods grabbed the vehicle’s gearshift and moved it forward and back in an attempt to place the transmission in drive, the report states.
Woods also used his hand to press the driver’s foot down onto the gas pedal to accelerate the engine, but the bus would not move because the driver had already applied the air brakes, according to the report.
Another male from the area who saw what was happening approached the bus and was able to convince Woods to get off the bus, according to the report.
Woods was immediately listed as the suspect because the bus driver was familiar with him, the report states.