View Full Version : 15 Year Old Steals Bus, Then Drives Regular Bus Route

10-30-2006, 07:23 PM

Posted on Oct 29, 2006 11:47:08 AM

Imagine getting on a Lynx bus and realizing the driver was too young to drive. Well here's the bulk of a news release from Seminole County Sheriff's Office spokesman Lt. Dennis Lemma about just such an incident that occurred Saturday. The driver, all of 15, has been arrested and charged with several counts, including operating a vehicle without a license.


Here's some of the narrative from the Seminole County incident report from Deputy Keith Lovell:

On October 28, 2006, at approximately 08:25 hours, I was on routine patrol on Lake of the Woods Boulevard, in Fern Park, Seminole County.

A call went out on the radio about suspicious activity on board a Lynx Bus that was on Lake of the Woods Boulevard. The caller advised that the bus driver appeared to be a Black Male Juvenile, but was following the bus route, and stopping at all the appropriate bus stops on the route. I observed the Lynx Bus, # 240, pass my location on the roadway, being driven by what appeared to be a Black Male Juvenile, under the age of 16.

The bus continued eastbound towards Oxford Road after it passed me at normal roadway speed. I turned around behind the bus, and followed the bus through the intersection of Lake of the Woods and Oxford Road, where the bus turned North onto Oxford Road, and stopped at the bus stop at St Johns Circle and Oxford Road.

While the bus was stopped, I pulled my fully marked Sheriff's Office Patrol vehicle in front of the bus after it had stopped, and engaged my emergency lights. When I did this, I observed the driver, still seated behind the wheel of the bus, reach over and shut the bus engine off, and heard the motor stop. I got out of my patrol vehicle, and approached the bus door, at which time the driver opened the door for me.

I asked the juvenile, later identified as Ritchie Davis, where the bus driver was. Davis replied " I am the bus driver". I asked Davis how old he was, and he stated " I am 15". I asked the driver where he had gotten the bus, and he replied "in Orlando, at the Fairgrounds". I then entered the bus, asked Davis to stand up, and placed him in handcuffs, and advised him that at the time he was I was placing him in investigative detention until we could figure out what exactly was happening.

After running Davis' name through Teletype, it was revealed that Davis had no Valid Drivers' License, and had a dummy DHSMV file due to his being charged previously for the same offense after stealing a Mears transportation bus. I then advised Davis that he was under arrest for Driving with no valid drivers' license. D/S K Ross and D/S S Klein attempted to contact Lynx Transportation about the bus theft while I was checking the bus.
Lynx Supervisor Keith Tillet responded to the scene, and verified that the bus had been placed out of service at the Orange County Fairgrounds, to be sold at an upcoming auction. Tillet advised that he wished to prosecute for the vehicle theft, and after removing the bus from the roadway, would respond to the Fairgrounds to make a report with Orlando Police Department.

I then transported Davis to the Juvenile Assessment Center without incident.

While at the JAC, I made contact with Orlando Police Department by phone, and was advised that the report number for the bus theft would be 2006406480. Officer Nguyen with Orlando Police Department was the reporting officer.

I also was contacted by Sgt Baker with Orange County Sheriff's Office JAM unit, reference Davis being on Probation through Orange County. Baker advised me that they were in the process of obtaining a Warrant for Davis' Arrest for Violation of Probation, and Absconding from Probation.

Davis was charged with Vehicle Theft, in that he stole the vehicle from the Orange County Fairgrounds, without the permission of the owner, Central Florida Regional Transportation Authority ( Lynx ). Davis was also charged with Driving with No Valid Drivers' License.

And here's some more narrative from the Seminole County incident report from Deputy Sara Louise Klein:

On Saturday, October 28, 2006, I responded to the area of Lake of the Woods Blvd, Fern Park, unincorporated Seminole County, Florida in reference to a suspicious incident involving a Lynx public transportation bus.

Information was being relayed through emergency 9-1-1 dispatchers from a passenger onboard the bus, Mr. Jeffrey Johnson. Mr. Johnson believed the bus was being driven by a unauthorized driver based on the youthful appearance of the male and lack of a uniform.

D/S Lovell located the bus at the bus stop located at Oxford Road and Magnolia Groves Apartments. He conducted a traffic stop and made contact with the driver of the bus. I arrived to assist him. Deputy Lovell entered the bus and made contact with the driver, later identified as Richie Davis, 15 years old. Davis was placed in handcuffs.

I then spoke with Mr. Johnson who told me that he boarded the bus near Mills Avenue and Colonial Drive, Orlando, Orange County. He became suspcious of the driver, even though he was driving normally and stopping at each bus stop locations on Route 39.

Deputy Lovell`s investigation revealed the bus to be stolen from a Lynx compound at the Central Florida Fairgrounds.

The kicker comes from Deputy Randy Wayne Garrett, who quotes the suspect:

While speaking with the suspect ... in reference to obtaining his biographical information, he asked me "what is going to happen to me now"? I told him he was being placed under arrest for grand theft auto and would be transported to the JAC. At that point, he stated "why, I drove that bus better than most of the LINX Drivers could. There isn`t a scratch on it. I know how to start it, drive it, lower it,
raise it". He also stated he has completed courses for obtaining a CDL and on how to drive the bus.