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.
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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.