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Airport Bus Driver Kidnaps Woman

November 12, 1999

BELLINGHAM, Wash. (AP) _ The driver of an airport shuttle bus in Vancouver, British Columbia, kidnapped a woman passenger, raced past a U.S. border crossing and fled the wrong way down Interstate 5 as authorities gave chase, officials said Thursday.

When the bus was finally stopped by a state trooper, the driver had choked the woman almost to unconsciousness, sheriff’s deputies said. He had also chased three drivers off the road, though none were hurt.

Vikram M. Menon, 37, of the Vancouver suburb of Surrey, was booked for investigation of four counts of first-degree assault _ for driving cars off the road _ and one of kidnapping. He may also face charges in Canada, officials said.

Whatcom County, Wash., deputies said Menon, a driver for Vancouver Airporter, picked up a man and a woman in downtown Vancouver on Wednesday, stopped before reaching the airport and asked the man to get out and check for a flat tire. Then he sped away with the woman.

He raced through the Peace Arch border crossing at Blaine, Wash., and sped a brief distance the wrong way down the northbound lanes of Interstate 5. Border Patrol agents and others chased the bus.

Vancouver police Constable Anne Drennan said the driver apparently told his bus dispatcher he had been hijacked by men carrying machine guns.

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