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Man accused of taking bus for joyride in Washington state

OLYMPIA, Washington (Reuters) - A 22-year-old man accused of hopping into an idling Trailways bus in downtown Spokane on Monday and taking the vehicle on an hourlong joyride was arrested outside of town, police said.

There were no passengers on the bus, which apparently had been left unattended with the engine running at the Intermodal Center, Spokane's downtown bus and train station, Spokane police spokeswoman Jennifer DeRuwe said.

About an hour after the vehicle was taken, a witness in the Spokane Valley reported to police seeing a bus that appeared to have been stolen.

Police responded and arrested a man identified as Sam McDonald about seven miles east of the bus station, DeRuwe said. The suspect was expected to appear in court Tuesday.

DeRuwe said that "issues of mental illness" may have played a role in the incident.

(Reporting by Jonathan Kaminsky; Editing by Dan Whitcomb, Steve Gorman and Eric Walsh)