Bus driver arrested in Greenfield, charged with intent to murder while armed

Franklin County

Photo: Greenfield Police Department

GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A judge ordered a Gill man held without the right to bail after a dangerousness hearing during his arraignment at Greenfield District Court Friday, on charges including civil rights violation and three counts of assault with intent to murder while armed.

Just after 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, officers from the Greenfield Police Department were called to the area of Main Street near Federal Street for a report of a bus that had gone off the roadway and crashed into a stone wall and a building.

Greenfield’s Fire Chief, Robert Strahan, was nearby and arrived at the location of the crash. Upon arrival, Chief Strahan noticed the driver of the vehicle, identified as 38-year-old Steven Connell, allegedly chase after and grab a man who was nearby. The fire chief intervened and grabbed Connell to get him off the man.

Police say Connell was yelling that the man he was after had a gun, officers later confirmed the man was not in possession of any firearm.

An initial police investigation determined that the individual, who was with two juveniles, had been passengers on an FRTA bus Connell was driving. They exited the bus on Main Street near Hope Street and began walking. Witnesses told police as they walked west down Main Street, the bus suddenly accelerated and veered off the right side of the road, going over the sidewalk and crashed.

Connell told police one of the juveniles was making hand gestures about having a gun on the bus leading him to believe they had a gun, causing him to attack them. Connell also told police he crashed the bus in an attempt to get the man, who was black, and the two juveniles. Police say a person who was seated on the sidewalk nearby was almost struck by the bus when Connell drove it off the roadway.

No injuries were reported, according to police. Connell was taken to an area hospital for evaluation, where police say he also ended up kicking a hospital employee.

Police arrested Connell and charged him with a civil rights violation, assault and battery, assault on ambulance personnel, three counts of assault with intent to murder while armed, and four counts of assault with a dangerous weapon, negligent operation of a motor vehicle, and a marked lanes violation.

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