POLICE: Man drives off with stolen school bus with officer on board

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – A Fayetteville man stole a school bus from a high school parking lot early Thursday and fled from law enforcement after an officer boarded the bus to try and arrest him, officials said.

The Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office says school employees at Seventy-First High School were warming up the buses Thursday morning when a man jumped into three different school buses. One school bus driver, afraid that the man was armed, jumped out and gave him the bus, according to authorities.

Cumberland County sheriff’s deputies say they found the stolen bus and tried to stop it. When the bus came to a stop at Cliffdale and Skibo roads, a Fayetteville police officer boarded the bus to attempt to arrest the driver. The driver refused to surrender to the officer and instead drove away with the police officer inside.

Eventually, after a chase, the bus came to a stop at the intersection of Skibo and Redtip roads and authorities arrested 35-year-old Gilbert McArthur.

McArthur was charged with common law robbery, second-degree kidnapping, and possession of stolen goods. He is jailed on a $30,000 secure bond and his first court appearance is Friday at 2:30 p.m.

WRAL reported that Dr. Marvin Connelly, superintendent of the Cumberland County Schools, said no students were involved.

“Thankfully, the bus driver is okay, and no students were on the bus,” Cumberland County Schools Associate Superintendent Lindsay Whitley. “We appreciate our strong partnership with law enforcement officials who responded immediately and are handling the investigation.”

The bus that was stolen belongs to Ben Martin Elementary School, but is normally parked at Seventy-First, where it was stolen from.

Copyright 2021 WITN. All rights reserved.

Facebook