A Clinton man faces charges in connection with a stolen school bus, according to a news release from Clinton County Sheriff’s Department.

Here’s what happened:

Clinton County deputies were dispatched shortly after 5 p.m. Tuesday to the 100 block of Park Avenue in Charlotte, Iowa, for a report of a Northeast School District school bus being stolen from a private driveway.

The caller said the suspect drove the school bus west on Park Avenue. A short time later, deputies found the bus stuck in a field a short distance from the residence from where it had been stolen.

Only one person was on the bus. After a brief standoff, deputies were able to take Thomas Jason Ruchotzke, 38, of Clinton, into custody.

Ruchotzke struck several mailboxes on Park Avenue with the school bus. He faces charges of operating without owner’s conent, third-degree criminal mischief and driving with a suspended license.

He also had two Clinton County District Court warrants for controlled substance violations.

— Linda Cook

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