SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, Calif. (AP) _ A man who led police on a 35-mile chase on a stolen bus was too thirsty for his own good - he was arrested when he stopped to have a beer.

''He must have wanted that beer awfully bad,'' Costa Mesa police Sgt. Gary McErlin said of the alleged hijacker, Eugene Laporte, 34.

Laporte boarded an Orange County Transit District bus in Costa Mesa Sunday morning and threatened to use cord to strangle the driver, who was alone on the bus, McErlin said.

The driver ran off the bus and Laporte took off, fleeing police, McErlin said.

Laporte left the freeway in San Juan Capistrano about 30 minutes later and ran into a bar, where he was arrested, McErlin said. He was booked for investigation of auto theft and other traffic charges.