Local News

Bus hijacker sentenced to almost 20 years in prison

Posted June 28, 2012 11:17 a.m. EDT
Updated June 28, 2012 12:15 p.m. EDT

— A Virginia man was sentenced Wednesday to 235 months in federal prison for hijacking a Greyhound bus along Interstate 85 last year, authorities said.

Jose Darwin Flores, 33, of Arlington, Va., pleaded guilty in January to violence against a mass transportation provider in connection with the Feb. 3, 2011, hijacking. He had been charged with 30 counts of kidnapping.

Flores was among at least 30 passengers on the bus, which was traveling from Washington, D.C., to Miami, and he demanded to get off the bus shortly after it crossed into North Carolina from Virginia, prosecutors said. When the driver refused to stop and let him off, Flores pulled out a black pellet gun that looked like a handgun and put it to the driver's head.

Flores, who was intoxicated, then pointed the gun at passengers, shouted profanities and hit the driver at least twice, prosecutors said.

The driver eventually pulled off I-85, and all but four passengers scrambled out of the emergency exit at the rear of the bus, prosecutors said. Flores then ordered the driver to continue south on the highway, engaging law enforcement in a chase. Officers eventually surrounded the bus near Henderson, where it had pulled into a gas station, and Flores was taken into custody.

No one was injured in the incident.