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Woman with blowtorch crashes 'repurposed' school bus on school property

  A woman wielding a blowtorch and driving a "repurposed" school bus has been hit with a string of charges after police say she le...

 A woman wielding a blowtorch and driving a "repurposed" school bus has been hit with a string of charges after police say she led them on a chase before crashing on the property of a local Catholic high school.

Around 6 a.m. Tuesday morning, a gas station attendant in Mandeville, Louisiana, about 40 minutes north of New Orleans, called 911 and reported that a woman had just entered the store carrying an unlit butane blowtorch and asking the location of a nearby office for the Department of Children and Family Services.

The woman, later identified as 37-year-old Natalie Jade Jarvis, then left, driving away in an old, yellow school bus with a Virginia license plate and the words "SEX TRAFFICKING AWARENESS" spray-painted on the side. When police caught up to the bus a few miles north of Mandeville, Jarvis allegedly refused to pull over and instead led them on a chase through downtown Covington, Louisiana.

According to a report from the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office, Jarvis ultimately crashed the bus on the property of St. Scholastica Academy, an all-girl Catholic high school. The incident damaged some fencing on the property as well as a stop sign, and classes at the school had to be delayed several hours. Fortunately, no students were yet on campus, and there were no reported injuries.

Jarvis, the only occupant on the bus, was soon afterward arrested without incident, and a blowtorch was confiscated from the vehicle. According to jail records, she has been charged with a slew of crimes, including fleeing an officer, hit and run, reckless operation of a motor vehicle, terrorizing, and carrying a firearm or weapon by a student. Her bond has been set at $30,000.

A spokesperson for the sheriff's office said that law enforcement was already familiar with Jarvis, who has a Florida driver's license. Officers believe that she has been living in the bus at a nearby state park for about a month.

Last month, officers were called to the state park regarding a domestic violence incident, and a man who was likely living in the bus with Jarvis was arrested. Details about that arrest, including the name of the suspect, have not been released.

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