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10 Schoolchildren Are Abducted, Threatened, Released by Bus Driver

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Times Staff Writer

A school bus driver abducted 10 Santa Ana elementary schoolchildren Friday afternoon and held them about 1 1/2 hours before delivering them to their homes unharmed, police said.

“He took them to Santiago Park, where he threatened to blow them up,” said Santa Ana Police Lt. Mike Mitchell. “He was not armed . . . . There were no injuries.”

Booked at the Orange County Jail on suspicion of kidnaping was Ignacio Granados, 21, of Santa Ana, Mitchell said.

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According to police, the episode unfolded this way:

At about 3 p.m., Granados, who works for a charter bus company that police would not name, picked up 10 boys and girls, all special education students, at the Glenn Martin School in Santa Ana.

But when the children, ages 10 to 12, arrived home nearly two hours late, they told their parents of being taken to a park and threatened with violence. The parents began calling the school.

Checking with the bus company, which has a contract with the Santa Ana Unified School District, police determined that the bus was far behind schedule and obtained the driver’s name and address.

They stopped Granados at 6:30 p.m., after he had taken the children to their homes. He was about to drive the school bus away from his home when arrested.

Mitchell said no motive has been established.

“He hasn’t said much of anything to us,” Mitchell said.

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