A 56-year-old Laguna Woods man pleaded guilty and was immediately sentenced Monday to five years and two months in prison for attempting to carjack an Orange County Transportation Authority bus.

About 2 p.m. Sept. 23, the bus was northbound on the Santa Ana (5) Freeway when Ronald Russell Evans approached the driver, “held up his fists and grabbed the steering wheel in an attempt to take over the bus,” Orange County sheriff’s Lt. Dennis Breckner said last year when Evans was charged.

As the driver attempted to dial 911, Evans grabbed the phone. Eventually, the driver steered the bus off the freeway and pulled over near State College Boulevard and Anaheim Way, where he opened the door and Evans got off, Breckner said.

Deputies found Evans in the area and witnesses identified him as the suspect, Breckner said.

There were a handful of passengers on board, but no one was injured.

Evans pleaded guilty to one felony count each of attempted carjacking, false imprisonment and attempted vehicle theft, as well as misdemeanor counts of battery of a bus driver and damage to a phone being used to notify law enforcement.

“The Orange County Transportation Authority operates buses every day of the year, safely carrying more than 60,000 passengers on an average weekday even during the coronavirus pandemic — and more than twice that before the public health crisis hit,” said OCTA spokesman Eric Carpenter at the time the defendant was charged.

“This was a highly unusual incident and we appreciate the quick work of the Orange County Sheriff’s Transit Police Services officers and the OC Bus coach operator to bring it to a safe conclusion.”

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