New details in police chase of Greyhound bus with 40 people on board

Greyhound bus chase

WADSWORTH, Ill. -- Reports of a man armed with a gun and threatening to kill fellow passengers on a Greyhound bus led to a police chase of the vehicle that started in Wisconsin and ended in northern Illinois.  A 33-year-old man previously deported from the United States faces felony charges, CBS Chicago reports

None of the 40 people aboard the bus bound for Chicago from Milwaukee on Friday night was injured and the suspect was taken into custody after authorities, using spike strips to flatten the tires of the bus, forced the vehicle to stop on Interstate 94 near the Illinois community of Wadsworth. Authorities said they began chasing the bus after getting a call from someone who was on board.

Margarito Vargas-Rosas, who most recently resided in Chicago, is the suspect who told passengers he had a gun and would kill people, Racine County, Wisconsin Sheriff Christopher Schmaling told reporters Saturday. Vargas-Rosas is being held at the Lake County (Ill.) jail. 

  Margarito Vargas-Rosas is in custody after allegedly threatening to kill fellow passengers on a Greyhound bus pursuit and leading police on a chase.  Racine County Wisconsin Sheriff via CBS Chicago

Police chased the bus overnight after passengers called 911. The bus came to a stop after its tires were deflated in Lake County, Illinois at I-94 and Route 173.

Vargas-Rosas was taken into custody. He works at a restaurant in Milwaukee and was returning to Chicago, Schmaling said, when he apparently got into an argument with other passengers. The suspect is an illegal immigrant who had been deported to Mexico in 2012, the sheriff said.

The Sheriff's Office is recommending Vargas-Rosas be charged with making terroristic threats, a felony, and disorderly conduct.

The suspect was saying "he was gonna kill us, that he was going to put a bullet in our head," passenger Patrick Todd told CBS 2 in Chicago after the nearly 40 passengers arrived at Union Station on another vehicle.

Police gave chase over the border into Illinois because the bus driver did not stop, suggesting it may have been a hijacking. Schmaling said the driver didn't know there was any potential danger.

Police put out spike strips to make the Greyhound bus stop. No firearm was recovered.

"Before I know it, there's like 20 police cars in front of us and on the side of the road," passenger Chris Walker says.

The suspect also made threats of violence against the arresting officers as well as the investigators at the police station, Schmaling said.

One passenger, Patrick Dodd, told the Chicago Tribune that the incident began when the man who said he had a gun started to threaten passengers riding in the back of the bus. Dodd said the man pulled something out of his pants that Dodd believed may have been a weapon.

Terrance Williams of New Jersey was in the middle of the bus and initially thought police were escorting the bus, not realizing what was happening in the back. But he too was confused about why it took so long for the driver to stop.

"The law is you see emergency lights you pull over," Williams said. "(The police) were in front of us, they were in back of us."

Sheriff Schmaling said the bus driver told authorities that he didn't stop the bus because he thought the squad cars were following another vehicle.