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SLC man tries to steal Salt Lake Express bus, chases bus driver around parking lot
By Megan Brugger,
17 days ago
ST. GEORGE, Utah ( ABC4 ) — A Salt Lake City man is facing charges after police say he refused to exit a Salt Lake Express bus, chased a bus driver, and attempted to steal a bus.
James Russell McDougall, 53, was arrested for the offenses of theft — firearm or operable motor vehicle, a second-degree felony; unlawful acquire/possess/transfer financial card, a third-degree felony; threatening breach of peace on a bus, a class C misdemeanor; obstructing operation of bus, a class C misdemeanor; and intoxication, a class C misdemeanor, the St. George Police Department said.
Just before 1 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 13, a SGPD officer was reportedly dispatched to the Bluff Street Salt Lake Express terminal after a bus driver said a seemingly intoxicated male was chasing him around the parking lot. According to court records, as the officer was responding, the male started to attempt to steal one of the Salt Lake Express busses from the parking lot.
When the officer arrived, he said he saw a male who matched the bus driver’s description looking agitated and standing near a bus with his hands in the air. He was detained in handcuffs, the affidavit states.
The officer interviewed the bus driver and reportedly learned that the male, identified as McDougall, walked on the bus and sat near the front after the passengers were dropped off. The driver asked him to exit the bus and he refused.
McDougall finally exited the bus but as the driver pulled away, chased him on foot, the affidavit states. The bus driver told police he had to stop the bus so that he would not run McDougall over.
The driver then reported that McDougall ran onto another Salt Lake Express bus that was parked in the parking lot and boarded that bus. The driver told police he saw the break lights come on and knew that McDougall was trying to steal the bus, the affidavit states, however he was unable to get it started.
McDougall then reportedly exited the bus, chased the driver again, and stood in front of the bus to prevent him from driving ahead.
In an interview with police, McDougall admitted that he boarded the bus and did not get off when the driver asked him, but said he could not remember how he had actually gotten to St. George in the first place, the affidavit states.
He also reportedly admitted that he boarded the other bus and tried to start it — with the intention of taking it and driving it home to Salt Lake City — but could not get it started.
The responding officer said McDougall had a “gaunt and sallow look to his face, was disheveled, had bloodshot eyes, an agitated demeanor, fidgety body movements, and struggled to answer questions, seemingly unaware of how he had arrived at the bus terminal,” the affidavit states.
McDougall reportedly told police that it was “the drugs,” and said he had used methamphetamine and marijuana.
McDougall was booked into the Purgatory Correctional Facility on the aforementioned charges.
According to court documents, McDougall is a convicted felon with 16 arrests in Utah since 1994. He has reportedly been arrested and/or convicted of assault, battery domestic violence, theft, driving under the influence, possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine), possession of drug paraphernalia, criminal mischief, distribution of methamphetamine, possession of marijuana, domestic violence in the presence of a child, unauthorized control of a motor vehicle, interference with an arresting officer, fail to stop at the command of law enforcement, possession of a weapon by a restricted person, and disorderly conduct.
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