15-year-old suspected of stealing MAX bus, leading police on chase taken into custody

15-year-old suspected of stealing MAX bus, leading police on chase taken into custody
(Source: Video)

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Birmingham police say a 15-year-old male who escaped police custody Sunday morning and stole a MAX transit bus as a getaway vehicle has been taken into custody.

Charges were filed against the boy on Monday. WBRC has decided not to release his name because he is a juvenile.

According to officials with the Birmingham Police Department, officers were sent to the Lakeview District around 3:30 a.m. Sunday morning after a call about two people carrying guns.

The two individuals were stopped by police officers and it was discovered they were in possession of a BB gun and a paintball gun.

The mother of one of the individuals - a 15-year-old boy - was contacted and she refused to come and take custody of him, so he was placed into protective custody and taken to the Juvenile Detention Facility on 2nd Court North.

Outside of that facility is where police say the 15-year-old escaped police custody.

After he fled police custody, police say he stole a small MAX bus from the parking lot of the MAX bus depot on 31st Street North around 7 a.m.

Officers spotted the stolen bus and attempted to stop the vehicle, but the juvenile would not stop driving.

During the pursuit, police say the juvenile intentionally struck two patrol vehicles while driving the bus.

The pursuit was soon terminated by police and the juvenile later abandoned the bus at 9th Avenue and 44th Place North.

The teen is now back in Jefferson County Youth Detention, where he will attend school, participate in programs and have the opportunity to attend religious services, according to a news release from the facility.

"This instance serves as an additional testament to the importance of community," director Monique Grier said. "The 15-year-old has been accused of serious violations, but we all have a duty to care. This child could greatly benefit from a needs-based assessment, mentoring, and strong supervision. All of which he will receive while under the charge of the G. Ross Bell Youth Detention Center."

Police say no one was injured during any of the incidents that happened Sunday morning.

The BJCTA released the following statement:

At the Birmingham-Jefferson County Transit Authority, we take safety very seriously for our employees and our customers. This incident is a rare occurrence at our agency. We consistently monitor and secure our fleet daily to prevent any potential issues. As a safety precaution due to expected flooding conditions this past weekend, it has been our process to move our smaller buses to higher ground. We are pleased that no one was injured during this situation- Christopher Ruffin, Sr., Interim Executive Director

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