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Alleged Metrobus impostor may plead guilty

The Post's Keith L. Alexander reports that the 19-year-old arrested in July for impersonating a Metro bus driver and taking it for a ride while picking up passengers along the way told a D.C. Superior Court judge on Wednesday that he plans to plead guilty.

William Jackson told Magistrate Judge Kimberly Knowles he was waiving his preliminary hearing. His sentencing is scheduled to take place Sept. 1 unless he changes his plea decision or chooses to enter a diversion program.

Jackson's attorney, Marnitta King, and prosecutors are still negotiating the details of the plea, according to King.

Jackson is charged with one count of unauthorized use of a vehicle. He remains released on his own recognizance.

According to charging documents, Jackson entered the Bladensburg Metro garage at 2251 Sixth St. NE on July 9 was wearing a Metrobus operator's uniform of dark shoes, blue pants and a blue bus operator shirt with a yellow and orange vest. He then climbed into the driver's seat of Bus 9318, started the bus and drove out of the garage.
Jackson then began driving the bus's scheduled B2 route, picking up several passengers as he traveled east on Massachusetts Avenue SE, the documents said.

Jackson made a left on 17th Street SE, the documents said; he hit a tree, "destroyed" the front end of the bus, and damaged the rear and curb sides of the vehicle. No one was injured.

Jackson fled from the bus and the bus came to a stop at the 1500 block of Potomac Avenue SE. Jackson was later arrested by police. He had removed his Metrobus operator's shirt and placed it in his backpack.

An investigation revealed that Jackson was not a Metro employee, does not have a valid commercial drivers license and did not have permission to operate the bus.

Jackson lives at the same residence of a Metrobus operator, according to court documents. Metro initiated tighter security and identification checks at its bus facilities as a result of the incident.

Knowles reminded Jackson and King that although Jackson has indicated a possible plea, prosecutors could still present evidence of the incident to a grand jury and he could still be indicted.

Jackson, who left the courthouse with family members, declined comment.

-- Keith L. Alexander

By Michael Bolden  | August 18, 2010; 12:27 PM ET
Categories:  District, Metro  
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Comments

He'll be given retraining.

Posted by: DragonofAnger | August 18, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Nice, they don't care that he wrecked the bus, just that he wasn't the person authorized to wreck it.

Posted by: jiji1 | August 18, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

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