Philadelphia Bus Driver Stops Carjacking Through Fast Action
Chris DeShields, 38, a bus driver for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, heroically thwarted a carjacking attempt last week by using his bus to block the suspects from escaping. The incident occurred around midnight on Frankford Avenue in the Fishtown neighborhood of the city. DeShields was driving his bus when he noticed three men surrounding a young woman they had forced out of her car and snatched her keys.
DeShields pointed his bus directly at the attackers while blowing the horn and flashing its lights. He also leaned out his window to shout at the criminals. The suspects were shocked to see the 30,000-pound bus blocking their escape and ran away.
He said, “They had masks on, but you could see their eyes popping wide open, like, ‘What do we do now?’”
DeShields quickly stepped out of the bus to ask people at a nearby bar to watch the woman until she could get help. He then continued his route to take his passengers home.
The bus driver confirmed that he saw police cars rushing to the scene. However, later in his shift, when he passed by the area again, the woman and her car were gone, and no police officers were present. Reports indicate that the suspects got away from the scene, making off with the victim’s key fob. The victim saw no gun, and the suspects have not yet been identified or arrested.
The incident has earned DeShields some recognition among his coworkers, who have been teasing him and calling him “Batman.” Chris Valentin, the Chief Bus Operations Officer for the agency, noted that DeShields made a quick judgment call to protect everyone involved.
Although the agency discourages bus operators from intervening in crimes, they can use discretion. Valentin’s statement added: “Some situations require split-second decision-making. Mr. DeShields called on his experience and training and used sound judgment to quickly aid the victim of a crime.”
DeShields, who works the second shift from 4:30 p.m. to 2:05 a.m., described the incident as “scary but exciting at the same time.” He added that someone with a heart and a good upbringing will get involved with certain things, especially if they have loved ones they want to protect.
The quick thinking and bravery of Chris DeShields prevented a carjacking and possibly saved a citizen’s life.