Activist Jailed After Taking Bus Hostage
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
January 9, 2004
PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA--Beware of Donald Stancile: He takes hostages.
To date -- by his own admission -- Stancile has held three Port Authority buses hostage.
Wednesday night, he was arrested and jailed for his latest crime.
"I'm going to continuously break the law," Stancile said late Thursday after he was released from jail.
Stancile explained that he has encountered buses with malfunctioning lifts or ramps about 50 times since he began using a motorized wheelchair in 2001.
"I don't feel like I'm the defendant," he told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "I'm the victim."
When Stancile tried boarding the 86B Frankstown bus Wednesday night, the hydraulic wheelchair ramp would not work. For some reason, the driver refused to get out and operate the ramp manually. Instead, by Stancile's account, she allowed the other passengers to angrily confront him.
Stancile moved his wheelchair to the front of the parked bus, then used his cell phone to call a fellow activist at ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, located just across the street. His colleague put together some make-shift protest signs and joined Stancile at the curb.
A swarm of police soon showed up. They arrested Stancile and charged him with obstructing traffic and disorderly conduct. A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for next Friday.
"Ninety-eight percent of the people who ride the bus can get on the bus. The other 2 percent are like me," he said. "Why can't we get on the bus? Why are we always the person at the bottom of the totem pole?"
"Man blocks bus, is jailed" (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)