DeShields was carrying five bus passengers at the time, the paper said, citing Chris Valentin, chief bus operations officer for the agency.
It didn’t matter.
The Inquirer said DeShields veered the bus toward the trio, leaned on the horn, flashed the blinkers, and shouted out the windows.
“They had masks on, but you could see their eyes popping wide open,” DeShields, who’s been driving buses for 17 years, told the paper. “Like, ‘What do we do now?’”
With a 30,000-pound bus blocking their escape, the Inquirer reported that the trio ran off.
What happened next?
DeShields told the paper he exited the bus to ask people in a bar to watch the woman until she was able to get help — and then he got back inside and continued his route “to get my passengers home.”
He saw police cars racing to the scene, the Inquirer reported, but when DeShields went by the area again later in his shift, the woman and her car were gone, and no police officers were present. While police confirmed to the paper that the incident went down, they provided no additional details.
‘We heard you were Batman’
DeShields, 38 — who works a shift running from 4:30 p.m. to 2:05 a.m. — added to the Inquirer that he “caught hell in the depot the next day. My coworkers were laughing and teasing me, saying, ‘We heard you were Batman.’”
Valentin noted to the paper that DeShields “saw a carjacking and made a judgment call in an instant, and we’re happy it worked out, and everyone was safe.”
The agency’s policy is that bus operators must keep themselves, passengers, and others safe, and they are discouraged from intervening in crimes, the Inquirer reported, adding that transit authority officials said drivers still are allowed to use discretion.
“It was one of those nights where you are trying to get through work and then — bam!” DeShields recalled to the paper. “My radar’s been up ever since. It was scary but exciting at the same time.”
He added to the Inquirer, “If you were raised a certain way, and you’ve got a bit of heart, you’re going to get involved with certain things. I’ve got a soon-to-be wife, and my sister — I would love somebody to help them if they get in a jam.”
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