Teen ‘tired of walking’ steals school bus

Flintstone's finest. (Catoosa County Jail)Walking, a physical act similar to exercise, is dreadfully boring, which only partially explains the runaway success of MARTA.

It may also explain why a Georgia teen just released from jail would steal a school bus to get home.

In Fort Oglethorpe, a tiny town up near Tennessee, the very bedrock of society was rocked when a Flintstone, Ga., teen absconded with a Catoosa County school bus.

Fort Oglethorpe Detective James Leamon told CatoosaNews.com that Jonathan Cole Collins, 18, took bus No. 77 from the parking lot of Battlefield Primary School Feb. 1 and drove it eight miles to Chattanooga Valley Elementary School in neighboring Walker County.

“[Collins] stated that he had walked into Fort Oglethorpe from the Catoosa County Detention Center (a trip of about 6½ miles), and was getting tired. He saw the open bus door, the keys inside, and decided that he wasn’t going to walk anymore,” said Leamon.

Video from a school bus camera quickly identified Collins, who was arrested Feb. 5.

Collins remained jailed Tuesday on theft charges. School bus drivers are advised to not leave the keys in unlocked vehicles the day he gets out.

34 comments Add your comment

dean

February 12th, 2013
11:22 am

I can’t say that I wouldn’t have done the same thing. Depressed. Hoofing it. There is still hope for this young man. Don’t give up on him yet.

Stella

February 12th, 2013
11:49 am

Guess the time he spent in jail taught him nothing. Theft is theft. Think he will be going back to another round. Its really a shame that the police can’t give him a ride into town though. Six miles, 20 minutes there and back. So sad really.

Me

February 12th, 2013
12:01 pm

I guess since it happened in a “tiny town” it’s cute to say things like “the very bedrock of society was rocked”. Get over it and skip it.

Darwin at Work

February 12th, 2013
12:09 pm

He won’t have to walk anymore except to his cell and out to the yard. Mental midget…..

Rock Gaines

February 12th, 2013
12:11 pm

It takes over one hour to walk six miles, not 20 minutes. Walking at a fast pace for most people is about 4.5 miles per hour on average, so there is no way this person could walk six miles in 20 minutes.

xxx

February 12th, 2013
12:11 pm

further proof criminals will always be criminals, stop wasting resources on them.

beanster

February 12th, 2013
12:28 pm

Initially I thought the same thing, Rock. I think she means it would have taken the police 20 minutes to drive him.

SouthernGal

February 12th, 2013
12:46 pm

Police do not transport released prisoners (liability). Where were his parents..they should of picked him up when he was released.

freds678

February 12th, 2013
12:55 pm

18 years old, no money, no family, no friends, no food, no phone, no home. These county lock-ups put people in a room, no books, no employment training, no access to any social services. Just basic cable. Kids without supervision, have to be taught how to function in society. There are bad apples out there, but most robberies are committed out of desperation. Our current system breeds career criminals, and they drain our tax dollars.

Rob

February 12th, 2013
12:57 pm

We must ban all buses or restrict the size and mileage of the bus. Until we have a complete ban on buses, then how can we expect society to be protected from these rogue school bus and their foul temptations to students. After all, he didn’t make a choice, the bus started itself and drove to the school #gunlogic

jtom

February 12th, 2013
1:00 pm

” the runaway success of MARTA?” Does that mean they no longer need to feed at the trough of taxpayer dollars? Until they are financially solvent without such support, they rate a big ‘fail’.

L.E.M.K.

February 12th, 2013
1:09 pm

One of the most frustrating things about working with juvenile offenders and DFACS kids is that the success of the individual is often impeded by the parent or care taker. I have seen on numerous occasions parents making promises to their kids “I can’t wait to pick you up and see you when you are released” only for that day to come and no parent is there. Often times the child is lucky if even a caseworker is there to pick them up. I have even worked with kids who fear being released because they know there is no one for them on the outside and they crave the stability of being on the inside.
I realize this young man was not in a juvenile facility but to me he is young enough to be considered a young person with the need for support from a guardian. I do not know what he was serving time for initially but I can understand how hopeless and apathetic he must have felt. To be released from jail and have no one care enough to pick you up. I doubt he had any cash, so it is not like he could have called a cab. Even if he did call a cab, maybe he had no one on the receiving end to pay for it or even no place to go? Maybe he wanted to go back to jail or maybe he just didn’t care; why should he? There is more to this story than the witty coverage of a small town school bus theft and it saddens me.

Sharon

February 12th, 2013
1:09 pm

He should get some credit for driving the vehicle to another elementary school and not damaging it.

Michael Turner

February 12th, 2013
1:10 pm

Rob you are a moron and lack comedy skills. Freds678, thanks for making some excellent points.

Tag

February 12th, 2013
1:15 pm

This guy needs to go to jail before someone gets hurt.

dsm

February 12th, 2013
1:15 pm

The “bedrock” reference was a link to the name of the town, Flintstone. Remember the cartoon Flinstones? They lived in bedrock…..

atlien

February 12th, 2013
1:17 pm

nice try rob, it’s obvious what you are trying to do, but your logic is way off.

dsm

February 12th, 2013
1:17 pm

Has everyone lost their sense of humor? While the matter is serious, it appears obvious to me that this typically poorly written AJC article is very tongue in cheek……

wp

February 12th, 2013
2:49 pm

Why would someone leave the keys in the bus. That was stupid.

Bubba

February 12th, 2013
3:21 pm

Typical of the Obama generation. Looking for a free ride at taxpayer’s expense.

DB2013

February 12th, 2013
3:40 pm

There you go bunch of people making excuses for his behavior then wonder when things always go out of control. He should have known better because just because someone is tired of walking which there many people out there that do it everyday. Keep making excuses for these brats but don’t cry when they commit crazy crimes. Also where are the parents? Maybe he was a lost cause. I blame our society for this behavior.

Maybe we should look into requiring licenses for people to have kids and in order to get a licenses you have to show that you are mentally and financial stable to raise a kid

cdp

February 12th, 2013
4:06 pm

if this kid was hispanic or black the posters would be outraged…he would be lazy, always looking for a handout….etc…but since he is not, it is just a “prank” and he is being sympathized with…

NorthGa

February 12th, 2013
4:30 pm

It was also extremely cold. He said he entered the bus at first to get warm and after doing so noticed the keys. He left the bus in a Walker Co. School parking lot and walked the rest of the way to his grandmother’s. When questioned by police, he honestly admitted what he did. Policeman interviewed on TV seemed sympathetic, but he was re-arrested and is back in jail.

Denise

February 12th, 2013
4:36 pm

@cdp – You are absolutely right about that. The story would be different if he were of a different hue. But you forgot “thug”, “drain on society”, “needs to be locked up so he can do no more damage”, blah, blah, blah.

Fred

February 12th, 2013
5:10 pm

Here’s your sign!

Captain ATLANTA

February 12th, 2013
5:48 pm

Bedrock? Flintstone? Surprised Dino and Yabba Dabba do…..was not in this childish writing

NorthGa

February 12th, 2013
5:49 pm

Also, in order to be in jail, he was at least 18, so of legal age, and it was reported he was in originally for possession of a small amount of an illegal substance. The bus was a sub bus and the keys were supposed to be hidden, but available for a sub bus driver if needed. Catoosa County Director of Operations announced on local TV that keys would no longer be left in the bus (DUH), so sick bus drivers will have to meet their subs somewhere at 6:00 am and deliver the keys.

Boo Hoo

February 12th, 2013
6:04 pm

I bet cdp and Denise blame white people for all their problems and all the bad in the world.

guy

February 12th, 2013
9:47 pm

boy i read these comments all the time and but its funny how bigots act about their own.

The Learned Hand

February 12th, 2013
10:59 pm

We must ban all persons named Rob. Until we have a complete ban on Robs, how can we expect society to be protected from the rogue Robs and their foul mouths?. After all, Rob’s mouth started itself and spewed forth a complete lack of understanding of the story, and it’s complete irrelavance to the subject of gun control. #youwouldn’tknowgunlogicifitshotyouinthefoot

cdp

February 13th, 2013
12:43 am

@boo hoo, nope, every problem I have is pretty much my own fault. I dont look for excuses, like most of the people positing have done for this kid…I just do not believe the excuses would be as abundant if he wasnt white. He is just a poor kid that made a few mistakes…right?

DeadManWalking

February 13th, 2013
8:59 am

@CDP, I logged on today to primarily make the exact comment as you. Had this person been non-white, he would have been ostracized by 47% of the commentators on here – much like they’re spewing their hate speech about the ladies who disfigured some peers because of Instagram. I really do not understand why so many use this board to show their true colors; oh wait, I do. Hiding behind a mask or a user handle is easier than letting your co-workers, friends and fellow church members know what you truly think. Sadly, acting as a racist or a bigot is nothing to be proud of.

Hughie Hogg

February 13th, 2013
6:21 pm

I didn’t even know we have a town named Flintstone, that’s pretty cool. When the locals high five each other wonder if they say “yaba daba DOO”.

arlene

February 15th, 2013
3:27 pm

The keys should not have been left in the igntion in the first place. Suppose some kids had stolen that bus for a joy ride and killed someone.