A man on a commercial bus northbound on Highway 97 in Sherman County stabbed the driver last Thursday, Sept. 10, when he wouldn’t stop the bus to let him off, law officers said.
Armando Sedano Perez, 55, of Yakima, was indicted yesterday, Sept. 15, on charges of attempted murder, first degree assault and 25 counts of recklessly endangering another person, one count for each of the passengers on the bus.
He was also charged with two counts of second-degree assault, one count of third-degree assault and unlawful use of a weapon.
The man wanted off the bus, and when the driver told the man “that he could not stop and leave him out in the middle of nowhere,” he was stabbed in the area of his heart with a small pocket knife, said Sherman County Sheriff Brad Lohrey.
“The bus kind of went all over the road,” after the driver was stabbed, Lohrey said. “Two people on the bus saw the commotion and they were able to stop the attack from happening. They kind of held him down. The bus came to a stop and they were able to get the guy outside and the bus drove off.”
Shortly thereafter, by happenstance, Lohrey was driving on Highway 97 when, at about milepost 9, he saw a man on the side of the road who was “acting suspicious.”
“I didn’t know what happened because he didn’t speak English. He was just an injured person walking along the road when I contacted him. His hand was cut,” Lohrey said.
Lohrey was still treating the man medically when, about five minutes later, dispatchers received “a 911 call that a bus
driver had been stabbed,” he said.
The bus driver had continued down the road for several miles before pulling over to call 911.
The bus was part of the Fronteras Del Norte fleet, a commercial bus service that caters mostly to Hispanics and has bus routes in California, Oregon and Washington.
Lohrey then called for an ambulance, which assisted the bus driver, taking him to Mid-Columbia Medical Center, where he was treated and released.
Lohrey said once deputies responded to the bus to investigate what happened, he learned the man he was dealing with “was the suspect and not the victim.”
Lohrey said he doesn’t know why the man wanted off the bus, and he would not disclose what the man said to him, in broken English, when he first contacted him by the side of the road.
The man told him he was from Mexico, Lohrey said.
Lohrey said the Oregon State Police sent bilingual troopers from The Dalles and Pendleton to assist in interviewing the passengers on the bus.
“Without their help we wouldn’t have been able to interview everybody, so they did a great job helping,” Lohrey said.