By MARY RAINWATER
Palestine Police Department officers are continuing to investigate a Tuesday morning incident during which a man boarded a Palestine Independent School District bus in an attempt to evade arrest.
Just before 8 a.m. Tuesday, police officers responded to Timbercrest Apartments, located in the 1000 block of Sugar Lane, where 30-year-old Cedrick Brenard Lewis of Palestine was reportedly involved in an altercation.
“The suspect was attempting the leave the apartments before police arrived,” Palestine Police Department Sgt. James Muniz said. “This is when he entered the bus and attempted to drive away.”
The bus driver was in the aisle assisting a student when Lewis boarded the bus.
“When the driver saw that Lewis was on board and in the driver seat, he made contact with the suspect,” Muniz said. “A maintenance employee at the apartments and an off duty corrections employee saw the incident and went to the aid of the bus driver.”
After a struggle with Lewis, the three men were able to pull him from the bus, subdue him and get him onto the ground — holding him there until police arrived.
“Officers from the Palestine PD arrived on scene within minutes of the call going out,” Muniz said. “The suspect was taken into custody and transported to the Anderson County Jail for processing.”
Based on the initial information there were approximately 12 to 15 children on the bus at the time of the incident, according to police.
“None of the children were injured during this incident,” Muniz said.
PISD Superintendent Jason Marshall expressed his appreciation to all who helped keep the students safe.
“Palestine ISD is grateful to the bus driver and the apartment employees for their efforts in subduing the perpetrator and keeping the students safe,” Marshall said.
Lewis was booked into the Anderson County Jail on a charge of attempted aggravated kidnapping, a second degree felony. If convicted, he could face up to 20 years in prison, Muniz said.
The investigation is ongoing at this time.
Mary Rainwater may be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Community Editor Cheril Vernon contributed to this report.