Law enforcement from multiple Alabama jurisdictions were involved in a high speed chase along the highways of the southern state yesterday.
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Police say that 24 year old Brandon Peckinpaugh, of Kentucky, stole a school bus from the community of Blount County, where he then began the night of joyriding on the yellow submarine.
Blount County Sheriff's Office Operations Manager Tim Kent said the bus was taken during an early-morning spate of burglaries in the Oscar Bradford Road area.
After he took the bus at around 1 AM, Peckinpaugh took to the streets as if the bus was his property all along.
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Shortly thereafter a local resident near Finley Boulevard in Birmingham spotted the stolen school bus began trailing the vehicle and contacted authorities, who received the bus’ location and asked the concerned citizen to back off from the tail.
According to Chief Deputy Randy Christian of the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, it was soon after the call in which his Deputies approached the bus and attempted to pull Peckinpaugh over around 8 AM.
The Blount County Sheriff’s Office had confirmed to Jefferson County Deputies that the bus was indeed the one stolen from their jurisdiction, so law enforcement knew that this was going to be a long and drawn out chase.
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Fortunately however a massive yellow school bus is easily visible and only has a specific maximum speed that makes it easy to pursue.
As police trailed the vehicle along I-59 Peckinpaugh refused to stop on multiple occasions, nearly sideswiping a dozen cars during the free for all.
Peckinpaugh then took exit 110 off the Freeway and led Deputies into neighborhoods through McCalla and Oxmoor Roads before heading back onto the highway I-459 Northbound.
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Eventually Deputies were able to stop the vehicle by surrounding it and forcing it to a slowed halt, at which time Peckinpaugh tossed a handgun out the window and surrendered.
Peckinpaugh now faces multiple Felonies including first-degree theft of property, two counts of unlawful breaking and entering of a vehicle, and two counts of theft of second-degree theft of property. Authorities there said he broke into two vehicles early Monday, and stole a gun from each.
Chief Deputy Randy Christian says Peckinpaugh may also be charged attempted murder for him ramming into a State Trooper during the chase, which could lead to life in prison.
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He's now in the custody of the Jefferson County Jail with a bond set at $15,000 pending future arraignment as well as more possible charges are filed.
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