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SLC man charged in UTA bus hijacking attempt, assault of bus driver near airport

File Photo: UTA buses
Posted at 8:18 AM, Mar 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-17 10:18:29-04

SALT LAKE CITY — The Salt Lake County District Attorney's Office has filed charges against a man accused of assaulting a Utah Transit Authority bus driver and attempting to hijack a bus near the Salt Lake City International Airport on Saturday.

According to a probable cause statement, 61-year-old Francis Xavier Barth is accused of threatening to kill a UTA bus driver, spraying a fire extinguisher all over the bus, chasing the bus driver and throwing a fire extinguisher at him.

"Mr. Barth told the driver to go back to Mexico, and that he was going to run him over when he gets the bus going. He sat in the bus drivers seat after the driver ran for safety. The bus windshield was cracked during the incident by Mr. Barth," a UTA Police officer wrote in the statement.

A charging document states the incident occurred at 510 N Terminal Dr. in Salt Lake City. The address is close to the airport, next to some airport parking lots, the airport "park and wait" lot and a convenience store.

Barth was charged Tuesday with assault with intent to commit bus hijacking and criminal mischief with reckless cause/threatening infrastructure. Both charges are second-degree felonies.

Barth remained in the Salt Lake County Metro Jail as of Wednesday morning.