Man suspected of carjacking VTA bus to undergo mental evaluation

Surveillance video obtained by KTVU shows the end of what authorities are calling a brazen carjacking of a public bus in the South Bay.

"Well I'm a teacher so I was virtually teaching in the back of the house and heard a lot of rumbling around so I came outside and saw the whole streets were closed and the sheriffs were all over the place," said neighbor Greg Sereno.

Authorities identified the carjacking suspect as 47-year-old Jonathan Clemson.

He faces charges including carjacking, kidnapping, auto theft and false imprisonment after an incident that started at Scott Boulevard and Space Park Drive in Santa Clara around 7:50 a.m. Tuesday.

Authorities say a VTA bus driver called 911 to report a man onboard acting erratic and upset.

"The driver exited his driver's seat to call 911 to report the incident to law enforcement. While he was doing that, Mr. Clemson jumped into the driver's seat of the bus and attempted to drive the bus away from the scene," said Santa Clara County Sheriff Deputy Russell Davis.

Investigators say the driver then jumped back onto the bus and got into a physical struggle with Clemson.

"Unfortunately at that situation, Mr. Clemson was able to put the bus into drive and drive the bus off from the scene with two passengers inside the bus," said Davis.

After about two miles of driving, surveillance video shows the stolen VTA bus pull over at Monroe and Fremont streets in Santa Clara.

The video shows the carjacking suspect walk off the bus and put his hands up.

He eventually gets on his knees in front of Santa Clara Police officers and shortly after at gunpoint, officers moved in to arrest him.

"It really shook me up. I'm 78 years old so I was a little shaken up to see all..the police activity," said neighbor Mary Grizzle. "I feel sorry for the man."

One saving grace, authorities say is that the air brakes were engaged the whole time which kept the bus to a maximum speed of about 30 miles per hour.

Smoke could be seen around a rear tire when the bus finally pulled over and Santa Clara firefighters helped assist.

"I will tell you that the bus did travel through multiple stop signs and ran..those stop signs so that being said, the situation could have been a lot worse," said Davis.

One of the passengers was injured after jumping off the bus through the open doors during the carjacking.

They were treated for minor injuries and authorities say it's fortunate no one was seriously hurt.

"As fluid, and frankly downright scary, as this incident probably was for those involved, we are grateful that our operator and the two passengers on board at the time are safe," said VTA spokeswoman Brandi Childress in a statement.

Authorities say Clemson does have a criminal history, although they did not disclose anything beyond that and say his mental health will be evaluated as part of the booking process.