Teen leads deputies on chase in stolen church bus

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Teen leads deputies on chase in stolen church bus (KTRK)

Despite having his church bus stolen and severely damaged, a local pastor is refusing to press charges on the suspect.

The bus was stolen from Ray's Auto Repair on Friday, March 23.

Surveillance video shows the suspect driving the bus back and forth, attempting to flee the parking lot.

"There was not enough space for the bus to come out," Jose Artega said.

After struggling for several minutes, the suspect is seen driving away from the parking lot in the van.

Hours later, Fort Bend County deputies say a 15-year-old was spotted driving erratically.

The driver refused to stop, resulting in officers using spike strips to stop the vehicle.

But despite the theft and damage, Artega says he does not want to see the teen in trouble.

"We're not going to press charges, because we don't believe in that," Artega said.

Instead, Artega hopes the teen will learn a lesson.

"I hope he concentrates on what he's going to do with his life," Artega said. "What he wants for his life."

Artega is the pastor at Iglesia Cristiana Evangelicas. He said he purchased the church van about seven years ago.

Artega told Eyewitness News that the van was grounded due to mechanical issues.

"We used it two times," Artega said. "It didn't have A/C."

The pastor says the bus can be replaced, and he's just happy that the teen is safe.

"He can come, Artega said. "We can talk. We can even play ping-pong if he wants to."

The bus is currently stuck at a tow yard with over $4,000 in fees. Artega says he is not sure he will be able to afford to bring the van back.
Related Topics:
stolen carchurchteen
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