PHOENIX (CBSLA.com/AP) — A Los Angeles man faces more than two dozen felony charges after authorities say he allegedly attacked the driver of a Greyhound bus as it traveled down an Arizona highway, causing it to go off the road and injuring 24 passengers.
Maquel Morris is charged with 25 counts of endangerment, one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, one count of aggravated assault involving temporary disfigurement, and one count of criminal damage, authorities said Friday.
The 25-year-old man was ordered released on $150,000 bond at the Phoenix hospital where he’s still being treated.
Authorities say the bus was heading from Los Angeles to Dallas when Morris allegedly attacked the driver early Thursday, causing the bus to swerve and go off Interstate 10 near the community of Tonopah, about 50 miles west of Phoenix.
Passenger Susana Ordinola, 48, of San Bernardino said the man got up from his seat, ran toward the driver and screamed, “Everybody’s going to die.” He then began hitting the driver and grabbed the steering wheel.
Chrissy Sanchez, another passenger, explained, “I woke up to this commotion and I remember hearing screaming. When I realized it was real … I realized we were not on the road anymore … I thought we were all going to die.”
The Arizona Department of Public Safety said several of the 41 passengers aboard helped subdue Morris. The bus came to a rest shortly before 2 a.m. in a median, just missing vehicles speeding down the highway at 75 mph.
Morris, who reportedly was hallucinating, got off the bus and ran into the desert, but he returned about 30 minutes later. He had reportedly boarded the bus with his girlfriend, who reportedly told authorities that he had allegedly smoked methamphetamine, according to an Arizona Department of Public Safety spokesperson.
Some passengers cursed and threw rocks at him before paramedics intervened.
None of the passengers taken to hospitals had life-threatening injuries, according to the DPS. The injuries included a broken sternum suffered by a man who helped restrain Morris, Officer Carrick Cook said.
Sheriff’s officials in Marshall County, Mississippi, confirmed to CBS2 that Morris has numerous prior arrests. The public defender’s office said Morris does not yet have attorney. His next court appearance is scheduled for Jan. 30.
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