A man allegedly barged onto a school bus full of children and pulled a knife on the driver today in Campo, where the struggle ended with a fast-acting bystander disarming the intruder, police said.
The bus was pulling away from a stop in the 900 block of Jeb Stuart Road in Campo when the driver noticed someone running toward it about 8:30 a.m., according to sheriff's officials.
Believing the approaching man was a parent trying to stop the bus for a child who had missed it, the driver pulled to a halt and opened the front door of the coach, Sgt. William Uelen said.
When the suspect began to board the vehicle, which was full of Campo Elementary School students, the driver told him he was not allowed to do so. Ignoring the admonition, the intruder allegedly continued up the stairs, prompting the driver to try to physically block him from getting into the passenger area, Uelen said.
Seeing the commotion, a grandmother of one of the students hurried aboard to try to help the driver.
During an ensuing struggle, the belligerent man -- believed to be under the influence of some sort of drug -- pulled a knife, Uelen said.
At that point, an older student on the bus ushered the other children to the back of the vehicle and called out for help to some parents who were still nearby. Moments later, the youngsters were able to debark unharmed through a rear emergency door.
A bystander then entered the bus and, hearing the bus driver yelling that the assailant had a knife to his head, intervened, Uelen said. The good Samaritan was able to pry the weapon away from the attacker and pull him off the bus as deputies were arriving.
The patrol personnel arrested the suspect, later identified as 37-year-old Matthew D. Barker of Campo, without further incident.
No injuries were reported.Investigators believe that ``drugs were a factor in this incident,'' the sergeant said.
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