CATOOSA CO., GA (CNN/WTVC) -- A Georgia teenager is accused of stealing a school bus because he didn't feel like walking. And the incident was caught on the bus surveillance camera.
Dt. James Leamon with Fort Oglethorpe Police Dept. says, "Turns around and he said he comes out of the high school traffic light there onto Battlefield Parkway Westbound all the way to where it crosses 193, all the way into Flintstone."
Jonathan Cole Collins, 18, took off on a 20 minute ride just after midnight Sunday. But before he got to Catoosa County bus number 77, he told police he had been on a much longer, colder walk from jail. Leamon says, "Said that he actually was going to sit first and to rest. He noticed the keys were in the bus and that's when he decided that he didn't walk anymore."
Collins had been in jail since Jan. 18 on a minor marijuana possession charge. When he bonded out on his own recognizance more than two weeks later, he left on foot, walking from the jail to this parking lot between Battlefield Primary and LFO High School.
Buses are parked here and a key had been hidden on this bus for a substitute driver. Doug Suits, School System Director of Operations says, "We're going to hand deliver that key to them so we can be sure that it's not stored or stashed on the bus."
And on the bus, Collins uses his seat belt, stays under the speed limit and drives safely. He returns the bus to another school, Chattanooga Valley Elementary, in adjoining Walker County. Once he parks the bus, you see him step off. He told the investigator he continued the walk to his grandmother's home. But after making this wrong turn in his young life; Leamon says Collins is now taking the right steps. He says, "The fact that he was honest, forthcoming, whenever questioning, he wasn't aggressive at all, we communicated very well."
But Collins still faces a felony charge of stealing a motor vehicle. In this case, the bus is valued at $40,000. He was jailed on $5,000 bond.