WASHINGTON - A Marine was arrested after he attempted to carjack a double-decker tour bus near the White House on Sunday, according to officials.
D.C. police said the suspect, identified as 24-year-old Tyler Jackson of Northwest D.C., attempted to steal the tour bus in the 1600 block of H Street at Lafayette Square near the White House at about 8 p.m.
The tour bus was stopped and nearly 60 people were on the top deck observing the White House when Jackson screamed at the bus driver, ran onto the bus and began beating the driver, according to witnesses and the victim.
The victim, who asked to remain anonymous, said Jackson yelled, "get out of here" and struck her multiple times in the face and head.
Good Samaritans rushed from the top deck to the lower deck area to help the driver, who was taken to the hospital. The driver was not seriously injured, but left shaken after the attack. The driver told FOX 5 she had no idea why Jackson attacked her.
The U.S. Secret Service arrived at the scene within minutes and arrested Jackson. He was later turned over to the custody of D.C. police. FOX 5 has confirmed Jackson is a sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps and is based at Marine Corps Base Quantico in Prince William County.
Craig Ludwig captured Jackson's arrest on his cell phone.
"We didn't know who was down there or what was going on,” Ludwig said.
Ludwig said none of the tourists on the bus saw the actual attack because everyone was on the top level of the bus taking pictures. When the bus stopped in front of the north side of the White House, the driver opened the door to get some fresh air.
"We heard the bus driver starting to yell that there was somebody attacking her,” Ludwig recalled.
The witness added, "The tour guide, he ran down there immediately and said he grabbed the guy."
Two other trauma nurses who happened to be on the bus also came running down to help.
"There was apparently [D.C. police] that happened to be driving by right when it happened," said Ludwig.
Big Bus Washington D.C. told FOX 5 this is the first time one of their drivers has been attacked like this and was worried due to recent reports about Metro bus drivers being attacked. Big Bus Washington D.C. released the following statement to FOX 5:
"We can confirm that the unfortunate event did happen during our night tour on Sunday evening. As expected the driver remains in a state of shock, but fortunately in good condition. We are incredibly appreciative of the quick response by the authorities.The safety of our team members and guests is incredibly important to us, our buses do include on-board cameras, and we will continue to work with the authorities as the investigation continues."
Jackson was charged with simple assault, unarmed carjacking, failure to obey, and resisting arrest. He pleaded not guilty at his arraignment on Monday and was released. Jackson was ordered to stay away from the White House and was scheduled to be back in court on Nov. 13.
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