Jeremy West Rode a School Bus to Elementary School, Which Is Creepy Because He's 29
The reason the phrase "stranger danger" exists is because of people like Jeremy West.
Thursday, Phoenix PD put out a bulletin to media, in an attempt to identify the grown man who A) asked a kid if he wanted a "a cigarette or a fix," B) hopped on a school bus to Simpson Elementary School in Phoenix, and C) left a fully loaded 9mm magazine on the bus.
It didn't take long for people to identify that grown man as 29-year-old Jeremy West.
In the initial bulletin, police said a 14-year-old kiddo was dropped off at his house, near Georgia Avenue (a few blocks north of Camelback Road) and 27th Avenue, on Wednesday afternoon.
The kid later told police that this guy, who he didn't know, approached him near his house and asked him if he wanted "a cigarette or a fix."
The youngster told the guy to leave him alone and went home, according to police.
Thursday morning, the kid got on the bus to go to Simpson Elementary School, and this creepy fellow -- later identified as West -- got on the bus right behind him, and they sat down at the back of the bus.
Police say there was an adult "bus assistant" riding in the back of the bus, and he asked West if he was with the child. West said he was, and the kid didn't pipe up (probably because he was scared to death).
Based on the cops' account, the assistant didn't seem too suspicious of West, until they arrived at the school, which is just on the other (east) side of I-17. At that point, West asked where the nearest church was, and walked away from the school.
Meanwhile, a 13-year-old kid on the bus found the fully loaded magazine on the seat where West was sitting.
The kid turned it over to the assistant, who ended up getting police involved.
Police didn't find West, but thanks to cameras on school buses, his photo was up on the early broadcasts of the evening news. He was identified and tracked down to an apartment, not far from the school, and even closer to the home of the kid he'd allegedly approached the day before.
In an email this morning, Phoenix Police Officer James Holmes says West admitted to being on the bus, and the evidence implicates him, too.
"As [of] yet, there is no clear reason why Mr. West entered the bus," he says.
With that, here's a PSA from New Times:
West was booked into jail on charges of endangerment, criminal trespassing, and bringing a weapon on school property.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Phoenix New Times' biggest stories.