So far, no weapon has been found in the Greyhound bus, which the driver also failed to yield immediately for 20 miles to authorities using flashing red and blue lights responding to an alleged passenger threat by a suspect.
By H. Nelson Goodson
Hispanic News Network U.S.A.
January 14, 2018
Wadsworth, Illinois – On Sunday, both the Lake County Sheriff’s Office and the Racine County Sheriff’s Office have not confirmed if a weapon actually existed when several passengers of a Greyhound bus headed to Chicago from Milwaukee claimed that another passenger acting irrational indicated to have. Authorities have not released any information about what triggered an argument and actually happened between Margarito Vargas-Rosas, 33, an undocumented immigrant who reentered the U.S. illegally and several passengers inside a Greyhound bus that led law enforcement agencies from three counties in Wisconsin and one county in Illinois to respond to several 911 calls from passengers riding a bus to Chicago.
According to Sheriff Christopher Schmaling, from the Racine County Sheriff’s Office, Vargas-Rosas surrendered peacefully and without incident on early Saturday and that the suspect was unarmed. The suspect threatened to kill deputies and an investigator when he surrendered, according to Schmaling.
The bus was seized and a search warrant was issued to try and locate a weapon inside the bus.
The question has been raised, why is Vargas-Rosas being charged with a felony terrorist threat when no evidence has been found or any cellphone video of the incident recorded by passengers has been turned in to authorities to support such claim. Also a misdemeanor charge for disorderly conduct was filed as well against Vargas-Rosas.
Many of the 37 passengers inside the bus didn’t even noticed that there was an altercation between Vargas-Rosas and several passengers because most were sleeping. None of the passengers who supposedly reported an altercation to 911 operators didn’t even attempt to alert the bus driver to stop after noticing county sheriff’s squads attempting to stop the bus. Was it really an intended terrorist act by Vargas-Rosas?, but to even accomplish such threat would be very unusual especially when there is no weapon involved, according to the initial report by Sheriff Schmaling. The initial investigation indicates that it was certainly an argument between several passengers, which some claimed that the suspect threaten to kill all the passengers.
The incident was escalated when the bus driver failed to stop for 20 miles until authorities had to spike the front tires to deflate them in order to stop the bus. What might have been just an argument between passengers, it simply turned out to be a terrorist threat, according to information released to the media by Sheriff Schmaling. No injuries were reported.
The bus driver claims that he thought the authorities were on a training exercise when he saw the flashing red and blue light behind him or that they were trying to stop someone else, so he didn’t stop. It certainly is no excuse for the bus driver to have failed to stop when flashing red and blue lights are used by deputies and state police.
Vargas-Rosas will appear in court on January 18, according to the Lake County Sheriff’s Office in Illinois. Wisconsin authorities are seeking extradition for Vargas-Rosas.
Authorities haven’t been able to connect Vargas-Rosas to any terrorist group. He apparently worked at a Milwaukee restaurant, but lived in Chicago.
Update: The Lake County Attorney General’s Office (LCAGO) in Illinois was contacted by Hispanic News Network U.S.A. and a request for the criminal complaint against Margarito Vargas-Rosas had been requested. The LCAGO says, that “This is a pending case and we cannot disclose any information. We also are not currently in possession of the criminal complaint” and that the Racine County District Attorney’s Office (RCDAO) in Wisconsin is handling the criminal complaint. The RCDAO has not filed a criminal complaint as of January 17, 2018 against Vargas-Rosas for making terrorist threats, which is a felony charge and misdemeanor disorderly conduct.
The RCDAO has filed an extradition request with the LCAGO for Vargas-Rosas.