Police identify man accused of stealing RTD bus in west Denver crime spree

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DENVER – Police have identified the man accused of stealing an RTD bus and then crashing it during a west Denver crime spree, right at the tail end of rush hour traffic on Monday.

Police have 36-year-old Solomon Garcia in custody.

“I was like, 'This is insane,'" witness Ryan Harrington said.

Witnesses were shocked after narrowly escaping injury from the driver at the center of a wild crime spree.

"It honestly reminded me of a chase scene in 'Cops,'" Rylan Summit said. His car was struck by the suspect.

Police say shortly after 6 p.m. on Monday, Garcia opened the door of an RTD bus, at bus stop F, near Federal Boulevard and West Howard Place. According to court documents, he told the driver, “I have a gun. Get out of the bus.”

The driver got out. No passengers were on the bus.

Garcia allegedly got behind the wheel, but just a mile later, he crashed into a wall on the frontage road of West 6th Avenue and Lowell Boulevard.

“Sounded like a big boom. He looked frantic,” neighbor Pasquale Gomez said.

Gomez said he witnessed the man try to force his way into a neighbor’s home.

“I thought he was the bus driver. He ran to her house. I thought he was asking for help, but he didn’t ask for help because she started screaming, ‘I got a gun. I got a gun.’ She pushed him out of the house," Gomez said.

Surveillance video obtained by FOX31 shows the figure of a man struggling with a woman. Then, he is seen running from a house on the corner of Lowell and the 6th Avenue frontage road.

Police said Garcia then carjacked a woman by threatening to kill her if she didn’t get out. Then, he was back on the road again, but not for long.

“In my rear view mirror, I saw a flash of a large car come flying down the road. Ran into the rear end of my car -- right-hand side of it,” Summit said.

Summit said he was sitting at a traffic light near Sheridan Boulevard and West First Avenue when he was hit by the suspect.

“He crashed the car and tried to run. But the fire department got out and chased him down,” Summit said.

Neighbors said they are relieved to know this man is now off the streets.

“It gives me a lot of relief that he’s arrested and he is in jail. He’s not going to do that again,” Gomez said.

Garcia is currently being held in the Denver County Jail without bond. He is facing aggravated robbery charges and is due to appear in court Wednesday.

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