Shirtless man tries to hijack bus, punches passenger in Pinellas County; incident caught on camera

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – It was a scary ordeal caught on camera by a passenger onboard a Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority Bus.

Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office

A shirtless man, Lance Martin, 27, of Clearwater, can be seen on video trying to hijack a bus full of passengers. Some of the passengers were able to fight back, but the biggest hero in this situation was the bus driver, who remained calm and kept the passengers safe.

Some of the passengers were able to fight back, but the biggest hero in this situation was the bus driver, who remained calm and kept the passengers safe.

“Illuminati,” Martin can be heard saying. “Swear to God. Save your soul.”

Martin’s rants lasted for several minutes. At one point, he can be seen on camera punching one of the passengers who asked him to sit down.

Elizabeth Smith, the woman who took the video, was sitting at the back of the bus when she captured the ordeal on her cell phone. Smith has taken the bus for the last four years. Her latest trip was supposed to be a routine visit to the doctor’s office, but her day quickly went from ordinary to bizarre.

Smith said she was frightened by the half-naked man “because you don’t know minute to minute what he’s going to do.”

When asked if she thought Martin may have wanted to hijack the bus, without hesitation, Smith responded, “Oh yeah. Oh yeah.”

The driver of the bus, Garry Taylor, has four decades of experience behind the wheel with more than ten of them with the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA.)

When asked if he had ever come across an experience like this in all his years on the job, without missing a beat, he said, “No.”

In the video, Taylor barely flinches as he confronts the half-naked man. He credits remaining cool and calm to his training and experience.  For Taylor, this was just another day on the job.

“You move on from something like this because tomorrow’s another day and hopefully not another incident,” Taylor said.

At the end of the video, as nearly everyone gets off the bus, Martin is seen getting behind the wheel. Fortunately for the passengers, the kill switch was hit, preventing him from driving.

Follow Paul Mueller on Facebook


>> BACK TO TOP STORIES provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s