Bus passenger says he was ridiculed for reporting suspicious bag

A bus passenger says that he was ridiculed for reporting a suspicious bag left on the bus.

A bus passenger says that he was ridiculed for reporting a suspicious bag left on the bus. (2/19/16)

NORTH BERGEN - A North Bergen man says that he was ridiculed and criticized for reporting what he felt was a suspicious package left on a bus.

Last week John Heinlein took a ride with the General Bus Company from South Carolina to New York. While at a rest stop in Virginia, he noticed another passenger clutching his bag. The passenger told Heinlein that he wanted to keep his bag close.

Heinlein says that after the bus made another stop in Delaware, he noticed that the man never made it back on.

"I realized he had now put the bag underneath and now he's not on the bus,” says Heinlein.

Heinlein called Delaware police about the situation, but police said there was nothing they could do.  New Jersey state police gave him the same response. Heinlein says that by this point the other passengers on the bus were mocking him.

"The one guy goes, ‘Tap your heels together, we're all going to blow up,’" says Heinlein.

He says that even the bus driver threated to fight him. When the bus got close to the Holland Tunnel, Heinlein says he made a last ditch effort to call the Port Authority Police, who finally took his concerns seriously.

"Everybody's like ‘Go, go, go’ and the bus driver steps on the gas trying to get to the tunnel,” Heinlein says. “All of a sudden swarms, swarms [of police] came out of walls, came out of everywhere."

It turns out the package was not dangerous, but did contain 16 cartons of untaxed cigarettes. The bus was cleared and sent on its way. Heinlein says that he does not regret being cautious.

“Ninety-nine percent this guy was nothing, but there’s that one percent just pulling at me,” he says.

The bag’s owner was taken in for questioning regarding the untaxed cigarettes.

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Trending Video

The Bayonne Board of Education voted Wednesday evening 1 Nearly 300 Bayonne School District employees, including teachers, laid off
Bayonne layoffs 2 Bayonne layoffs
Students walked out of their classrooms Thursday morning 3 Nearly 300 Bayonne School District employees laid off; students walk out
Students walked out of their classrooms Thursday morning 4 Students walk out after Bayonne School District lays off nearly 300 employees
Ruben Mondalto was able to wander away from 5 Toddler wanders away from Sayreville day care

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Features

It's good to know you have Walt Kane Kane in Your Corner

It's good to know you have Walt Kane in your corner.

News 12 takes a look at the hottest Tech Check

Eric Landskroner has a look at the latest gadgets and biggest stories in tech.

News 12 On the Scene

Check out these exclusive videos from New Jersey celebs!

Sorry to interrupt...

Your first 5 are free

Access to News12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service Electric℠ video customers.

Please enjoy 5 complimentary views to articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.

LOGIN SUBSCRIBE