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Man Leads Police On Violent, 3-State Rampage

HAZLETON — A violent incident that began in Hazleton stretched across two counties and three states, before a man was taken into custody on the George Washington Bridge in New York City.

Speaking of the suspect, authorities in Luzerne County say “he snapped,” abducting a woman at gunpoint, stealing cars, causing fear among kids on a school bus, and then allegedly crashing a stolen SUV on the busiest bridge in the Big Apple.

Police admit this case is confusing and it was terrifying.

Two women from Hazleton were flown to hospitals with assault injuries.

Now, Luis Figueroa is expected to be slapped with serious charges in three states

“This man snapped today. He snapped. And I can guarantee you one thing: had that bus driver opened the door, this would be a much different press conference,” said Hazleton Police Chief Frank DeAndrea.

Chief DeAndrea says a bus driver did not open the door for a beaten, pregnant woman on Church Street this morning because the driver saw Luis Figueroa with a shotgun outside.

Figueroa, 33, is accused of abducting another woman and driving to the Deleware Water Gap area.

Authorities say the abducted woman escaped. Both injured women were flown to hospitals. Figueroa assaulted a National Park employee and stole his vehicle.

Figueroa then drove to Patterson, New Jersey, where he’s accused of stealing an SUV.

“He beat the dealer, set the dealership on fire, attempted to burn the car dealer himself, and fled in a stolen Cadillac Escalade.”

Police say the three-state crime spree ended when Figueroa crashed into police cruisers on the New Jersey and the New York sides of the George Washington Bridge.

In Hazleton, school district superintendent Francis Antonelli praised the bus driver for keeping the door closed.

“She prevented a bad situation from being exponentially worse.”

Luzerne County’s district attorney says keeping the man with a gun away from a school bus likely prevented more tragedy.

“The bus driver, she is a hero in my eyes. And she should be a hero in everyone else’s,” said Luzerne County District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis.

The pregnant woman, the abducted woman, and that park employee are all in the hospital with assault injuries.

Our ABC affiliate in New York says two officers there were hurt and Figueroa was taken to the hospital with burn injuries.

There is no word on a motive sparking this three-state rampage.

13 comments

  • Is there REALLY FREEDOM of SPEECH ??? If so read this

    Take this MENACE TO SOCIETY back to ” MAY HAY CO ” and lot him rot for a long time to think about his actions ! So sick of TRASH ruining our towns !

  • Dennis

    Why my wife and I got our concealed weapon permits last year. These nutjobs are everywhere and frequency of their escapades continues to explode so we chose to at least have a fighting chance. How sad that we even had to consider doing so.

  • Melanie

    Delaware is spelled D-E-L-A-W-A-R-E . What a terrifying situation for all involved. So glad that they are getting the help that they need and they should lock him up and throw away the key!

  • kim

    The bus driver is a hero in my eyes…She had to make a split second decision and chose to protect the children!!! This is someone I would like to drive my children to school…She deserves some type of heroic medal.Glad to know there are still good people in this world…God Bless this busdriver..

    • JenkemJones and the Chitlin Express

      You’re weird. I’m pretty sure self-preservation played at least some role. Most anyone would have done the same thing in that situation. Besides, you really have no idea who this person is. I’m not saying she is, but hypothetically, what if you found out tomorrow that the bus driver is also a raving drunk? I’m sure she is an awesome bus driver, and she deserves credit, but you are over the top. I’m glad the kids are okay, anyway.

      • RayRay

        I know the bus driver personally and given the situation she is a hero!!! She didn’t panic, she kept a level head and just an FYI this individual is also a volunteer Firefighter and EMT, not some raving drunk as you put it. You should never assume because quite frankly you may make a *first three letters of assume* out of yourself. The bus driver has served the public for many many years and her own son was on board that bus. you were not in the situation so therefore you can’t speak for what most people would do. This whole thing was very traumatic for the bus driver and the children on the bus and all those involved from here to NY. Kim is not weird for what she said. KUDOS to the bus driver!!!!!!!!

      • e

        The only thing that’s “over the top” is your screen name. JenkemJones and the Chitlin Express. wtf is that? Moron.

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