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Maryland man charged with attempting to hijack bus in Ohio

By Kim Palmer

(Reuters) - A Maryland man was charged on Tuesday with threatening to hijack a Chicago-bound passenger bus in downtown Columbus, Ohio, with a pellet gun in an incident that left him and a passenger wounded by police, according to authorities and bus company officials.

    Arsenio Rodriguez, 26, was charged with felony robbery after he pointed a pellet gun at a bus driver's head on Monday morning and demanded to go to Indianapolis, Prosecutor Ron O'Brien said.

    Rodriguez claimed he was suffering from mental health problems and was assigned a public defender during a hearing in a Franklin County court on Tuesday, O'Brien said. Bond was set at $250,000, he said.

    Police on Monday responded to downtown Columbus where they found Rodriguez pointing a gun at the bus driver's head, the department said in a posting on Facebook.

    An officer fired multiple shots shattering the weapon Rodriguez was holding, O'Brien said.

    Rodriguez, who was shot in the hand, and a passenger, who was also wounded, were briefly hospitalized, he said.

    The bus was operated by Megabus, a discount intercity bus line serving much of the United States and parts of Canada. Megabus spokesman Sean Hughes said the bus was headed to Chicago but the company was still gathering details about the incident.

(Reporting by Kim Palmer in Cleveland; Editing by Brendan O'Brien and Cynthia Osterman)

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