Fredericton — A 14-year-old boy was in custody this weekend after police had to use a spike belt to stop a stolen school bus.
The incident occurred just after 9 p.m. Saturday, when the teen stole the bus from the Department of Transportation. Fredericton Police say the chase lasted about 30 minutes and two police vehicles were damaged after the boy rammed into the squad cars.
Reporters say it wasn’t the first time the teen had stolen a bus, and claimed he was heard shouting, “Ms. Frizzle made me do it!” in his holding cell after the arrest. Ms. Frizzle is a fourth-grade teacher from the fictional cartoon TV series The Magic School Bus.
While joyriding through the city, the boy yelled at police officers to “Take chances, make mistakes, get messy!” — a popular quote from the TV show. He continued chanting, “Seatbelts, everyone!” as officers finally gained control of the bus and entered by force to arrest the boy.
His mother claimed that her son truly believes that school busses are magical and can shape-shift into different sizes and objects — a misguided notion she blames on the show and Ms. Frizzle.
“It really poisons our youth’s minds, to show them that, hey, all you need to do is hijack a big yellow school bus and next thing you know you can morph into anything and head out on whacky adventures. That’s not real life. Real busses don’t do that. You are putting people’s lives in danger.”
The father declined our request for an interview, but did reply to an email saying he’s concerned that his listening to local band Grand Theft Bus at home when his son was a child may have sent the wrong message at an early age.
Fredericton Police say the boy faces a number of charges.