Fort Jackson soldier accused of hijacking bus will stay in jail, at least for now

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A Fort Jackson soldier accused of hijacking a school bus full of kids will remain in jail after waiving a court hearing.

Jovan Collazo, 23 of New Jersey, waived his Friday bond hearing at Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center off Shop Road, Richland County Solicitor Byron Gipson confirmed.

Richland County Public Defender Fielding Pringle is Collazo’s defense attorney. She can request that the court reschedule a bond hearing at a later date.

Police charged Collazo with 19 counts of kidnapping, armed robbery, carjacking, pointing and presenting a firearm, and other offenses.

Collazo, a Army trainee at Fort Jackson, ran away from his unit Thursday morning and began trying to get rides from cars on Interstate 77, authorities said.

He walked to Percival Road, where he boarded the bus with 18 children going to Forest Lake Elementary, Sheriff Leon Lott said at a news conference. Armed with a rifle that Fort Jackson officials later said wasn’t loaded, the recruit told the bus driver to drive him to the next town, Lott said. Collazo then made the driver and the kids get off the bus. He then drove the bus himself a few miles up the road.

Deputies arrested the soldier near the intersection of Alpine and Percival roads. The students and the driver were not physically injured.

Collazo’s next court appearance is scheduled for May 28.

Each count of kidnapping has a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison.

This is breaking news that will be updated. Check back.

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