We believe there was approximately 20 to 25 people on the bus. It could have been a lot worse,
A man hijacked an MTA bus with what turned out to be a fake gun, taking control of the wheel from the driver before crashing into an electrical pole in Queens on Thursday, police said.
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The driver, a 21-year veteran of the MTA, immediately opened the doors to let out the two dozen passengers — but could not escape himself, Clune said.
The hijacker got on the bus and “made statements that he was being chased” before telling the driver to keep going, Clune told reporters.
The bus operator obliged his captor for several blocks before escaping through the driver’s window near the corner of 232nd Street, Clune said.
“We believe there was approximately 20 to 25 people on the bus. It could have been a lot worse,” he said.
The suspect — who was previously known to police — assumed control of the steering wheel, but crashed into an electrical pole about a block later, after which cops arrested him, officials said.
His name was not immediately released.
“The individual … remained very close to the driver at all times,” NYPD 113th Precinct commanding officer Deputy Inspector Jerry O’Sullivan said.
“There wasn’t any room for the bus driver to exit the bus with the passengers.”
Cops recovered the “imitation pistol” from the bus after the man’s arrest.
Power was knocked out in the vicinity for at least three hours and a nearby school had to dismiss its students early, the officials said.
Additional reporting by Amanda Woods