Charges filed against juvenile accused of stealing MAX transit bus

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - A 15-year-old boy charged with escaping police custody then stealing a MAX transit bus has been charged in Jefferson County Family Court.

The boy, whose name WBRC is not releasing because he's a juvenile, is charged with three counts of attempted murder and one count of theft of property.

The teen's mother confirmed that information on Monday afternoon.

The charges stem from a situation that started early Sunday morning when police say that teen escaped from police custody and stole a MAX transit bus as a getaway vehicle.

Officers say he eventually ditched the bus after hitting two patrol cars.

Around 2 p.m. Sunday afternoon, the teen's mother turned him over to police custody.

"I don't know what he was thinking; what he was feeling. He did take a minor incident and escalated it where several citizens, officers, and himself were placed in danger," said Birmingham Police Lieutenant Pete Williston.

He says officers are still trying to determine exactly how the boy stole the bus.

Monday morning, Max Interim Director Chris Ruffin released a statement to WBRC:

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.

Monday afternoon, MAX released a second statement that says:

The safety of our buses and operators are a top priority at the Birmingham-Jefferson County Transit Authority. We believe this was a rare occurrence involving a theft of this kind.

Officials with Jefferson County Juvenile Detention released a statement saying they believe there is hope for the teen. It reads:

Today, a 15-year-old youth escaped Birmingham police and stole a MAX transit bus as a getaway vehicle. Unfortunately, his guardian would not take custody of him. Therefore, he was placed into protective custody and taken to the Jefferson County Youth Detention Facility.

Copyright 2018 WBRC. All rights reserved.