WAUKEGAN, Ill. -- Greyhound officials said Monday, Jan. 15 the driver in Friday night's pursuit on I-94 has been removed from the road as the company conducts an internal investigation. Passengers experienced 27 minutes of terror, as 911 calls came in reporting a man with a gun threatening to kill passengers. As deputies chased the bus, they repeatedly asked why the driver, who hasn't been charged, wasn't slowing down.
Scanner chatter picked up late Friday, Jan. 12 after a 911 call came in from a passenger at the back of the bus, headed southbound on I-94.
"Short, black hat -- making threats that he's going to kill everybody on the bus," a dispatcher said.
Investigators say that man was Margarito Vargas-Rosas. In order to get him, deputies first had to stop the bus, which proved to be a challenge.
"The bus is not pulling over. We need to make contact with that driver. Is there any way we can get contact with the bus driver?" a deputy asked.
"We're trying to get contact," a dispatcher said.
The chase continued into Kenosha County -- reaching speeds between 50 miles-per-hour and 70. Two deputies reported it passing over spike strips near Highway 50.
"Does not appear that the spikes had any affect whatsoever. A little sparking, but that's it," a deputy said.
A minute later, deputies said the chase had actually sped up.
"Speeds are back up to approximately 70 miles-an-hour," a deputy said.
Just before the state line, deputies said the bus passed over another set of spikes.
"I do not see any affect on the tires. We're still at 52 miles-an-hour," a deputy said.
The chase sped up again, and then, about 27 minutes into the ordeal, the Greyhound's tires began to shred, and its speed decreased as the bus drove on rims. After crossing into Illinois, the driver pulled to the shoulder and deputies got Vargas-Rosas out, at gunpoint.
"They're stopped. Copy -- bus stopped," a deputy said.
Racine County Sheriff Christopher Schmaling said the bus driver didn't know what was going on in the back of his bus, and thought deputies trailing him were trying to pull over someone else.
A spokeswoman for Greyhound told FOX6 News the company is completing its own investigation, conducting interviews with the driver and customers. The driver is out of service during that investigation.
Meanwhile, Vargas-Rosas is was denied bond in Illinois Sunday and may return to southeast Wisconsin later this week. He'll be charged with making terroristic threats, a felony, and misdemeanor disorderly conduct when he returns to Racine County. He'll get a public defender before a scheduled 1:30 p.m. Wednesday extradition hearing, according to online court records.
FOX6 News has learned Vargas-Rosas has a lengthy history with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. An ICE spokeswoman said he voluntarily returned to Mexico from California in 2004. In 2010, after being arrested in Oregon, a judge order Vargas-Rosas removed from the country. He was twice deported to Mexico during a 13-day period in 2012, according to an ICE spokeswoman.
ICE has placed an immigration detainer on Vargas-Rosas with the Lake County, Illinois jail, where he awaits extradition to Racine County.