Wild shuttle ride to Queen Mary in SoCal leaves passengers climbing out of windows

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ByJory Rand via KABC logo
Friday, November 2, 2018
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A five minute shuttle ride to the Queen Mary left passengers believing they were being kidnapped as the driver wouldn't stop the vehicle.

LONG BEACH, Calif. -- Passengers on a shuttle destined to arrive at the Queen Mary Thursday night were taken on a wild and terrifying ride.

Dozens boarded a shuttle bus to travel from the Aquarium of the Pacific to the Queen Mary, a one-mile trip, for the Queen Mary's Dark Harbor event.

The trip took a dramatic turn when passengers began to believe they were being kidnapped as their bus was headed in the wrong direction -- and the driver wouldn't stop.

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"He wasn't responding to anybody," passenger Ashia Souder said. "And I was like, 'We're getting kidnapped.'"

"We were all trying to get off the bus, telling him to stop, let us off and he wouldn't stop," Lee Piatelli said.

As the less than 10 minute drive from the Aquarium of the Pacific to the Queen Mary hit nearly 30 minutes and had entered the city of Carson, a passenger pleaded with the driver to stop.

Video from the ride shows several passengers pleading with the driver.

"I told him straight up, 'At this point it's kidnapping. You can't hold us like this,'" Brian Corbitt said. "I stood up with him, and he just whipped around and nailed me in the stomach and knocked me back into a seat."

Panic set in and people began to get off the bus -- however they could. People began opening windows and climbing out of the shuttle.

"People started opening up the windows and everybody starts jumping out and clamoring and wedging in a panic," Scott McCaslin said.

The bus driver eventually opened the door and let the remaining passengers out in Carson. Some had called 911 to report they had been kidnapped. The Sheriff's Department arrived a short time later and took the driver into custody. He was arrested on suspicion of kidnapping.

Passengers were able to exit the shuttle four hours after boarding. No injuries were reported.

The driver said he wanted to find a safe place to stop. But passengers said they asked him to stop miles and hours before the bus stopped.