'Suspicious' man who boarded school bus identified, arrested

PHOENIX - A man accused of following a 14-year-old boy onto a school bus has been arrested.

Phoenix police Officer James Holmes said 29-year-old Jeremy West was identified after surveillance photos were shown on television broadcasts early Thursday evening.

Police said that on Wednesday the teen was dropped off from the school bus at an apartment complex near 27th Avenue and Camelback Road and that the suspect had approached him asking if he wanted "a cigarette or a fix."

The boy told the suspect to leave him alone and went into his home.

Thursday morning the child got onto his school bus and the same man followed him on board , taking a seat at the rear of the bus, according to police.

When the school bus monitor asked the suspect if he was with the boy, he said he was. Police said at this point there were three children on the bus along with the driver and the adult bus assistant.

When the bus got to Simpson Elementary School the suspect asked the bus assistant where the nearest church was located and then he left the area.

A 13-year-old child on the bus found a fully loaded 9mm magazine on the seat where the suspicious person had been sitting.

School employees called police and officers searched the area for the man without finding him.

After West was identified, police found him in an apartment near 27th Avenue and Camelback Road Thursday night and took him into custody without incident.

He faces charges of endangerment, criminal trespass, weapon on school property.

Police say there is no clear reason why West got on the bus.

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