Alleged Bus Hijacker’s Bail Set by Neal Putnam

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Bail was set at $750,000 May 31 for a man accused of trying to hijack a Campo Elementary School bus with two knives in a bizarre incident that his father said may be linked to metham­phetamine use.

Matthew Douglas Barker, 36, is also charged with attempted kidnapping during a carjacking, three counts of child endanger­ment, assault on transportation personnel, elder abuse, and as­sault with a knife.

Bail was set at $750,000 May 31 for a man accused of trying to hijack a Campo Elementary School bus with two knives in a bizarre incident that his father said may be linked to metham­phetamine use.

Matthew Douglas Barker, 36, is also charged with attempted kidnapping during a carjacking, three counts of child endanger­ment, assault on transportation personnel, elder abuse, and as­sault with a knife.

The incident took place May 25 at 8:31 a.m. at an apartment complex near Jeb Stuart Road in Campo. Barker came running to the bus and allegedly punched the 78-year-old driver in the face.

The grandmother of one stu­dent on the bus jumped on Bark­er as he reportedly tried to stab the driver.

One girl punched an emergen­cy button and opened up a win­dow in the back. All the children got off the bus without injury.

El Cajon Superior Court Judge Herbert Exarhos set a prelimi­nary hearing for June 13, but it may be delayed.

Deputy District Attorney Taren Brast said Barker faces a maximum sentence of 13 years in prison if he is convicted of all charges.

Barker’s own children were on the bus and now are being cared for by their grandparents.

Barker’s father, Doug Barker, made a statement to KGTV Channel 10 in which he said his son “wasn’t in his right state of mind” at the time.

“The last two or three days, he was hallucinating, stating that the cartels were gonna kill his kids,” said Doug Barker. “In his mind, he was trying to protect his own.”

“He was not there to harm any kids. I’d like to have that clear,” said Doug Barker. “I can only assume that it was metham­phetamine, and I can’t be sure on that.”

Matthew Barker remains in the George Bailey Detention Facility.

Alleged Bus Hijacker’s Bail Set by Neal Putnam

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