A 34-year-old Vallejo man stole a California Highway Patrol cruiser and used it to pull over and steal a bus transporting students at Sacramento State on Friday, university officials said.
At 12:25 p.m., Aaron David Avitan stole a the patrol car was from an officer who was responding to a traffic collision at Highway 50 and Bradshaw Road, said Officer Tommy Riggin, a CHP spokesman. While the officer was talking to a person involved in the crash, the Avitan got into the patrol car and drove off, according to a press release by the CHP.
Avitan drove the patrol car onto campus, where he commandeered a bus carrying approximately 10 students from Delta Community College, Riggin said. He then began to drive the bus.
But according to Diane Rivera, a 30-year-old student on the bus, while Avitan was driving, two of the people in the bus came up behind the man and put him in a choke hold. According to the CHP, one of the students managed to remove the key from the bus’ ignition. Sacramento State police arrived on scene soon afterward, and arrested Avitan.
The students on the bus were participating in a student government weekend retreat, said Rivera. She was the senator of student activities.
A Sacramento State police officer took Avitan into custody at the J Street exit of campus, said Brian Blomster, a university spokesman. He was arrested on charges including sealing a vehicle, carjacking, and kidnapping. He was taken to the Sacramento County jail.
The J street exit was subsequently reopened to traffic.