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Deputies: Man with American flag jumps out of bushes, tries to rob drivers

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Posted at 11:06 PM, Nov 12, 2013
and last updated 2013-11-12 23:56:06-05

York-Poquoson, Va. - York-Poquoson Sheriff's deputies say 31-year-old Steven Slusher parked his car in the middle of a busy highway, hid in nearby bushes, then assaulted and tried to rob two drivers.

John Hicks saw the entire thing. Hicks was watching Monday afternoon from York Bolt in Tabb, where he works.

"It was absolutely the craziest thing I’ve ever seen," Hicks says.

He says Slusher's car was parked in the left lane on Hampton Highway. After a few minutes he heard Slusher walking his way.

"He's mumbling stuff,” Hicks says. “I can't quite make out anything he's saying but he's pointing to the sky. Once he gets close enough to where I can hear him he actually says 'no, no, no thirty more degrees to the right. Yeah, you got it.”

Deputies say Slusher hid in bushes on nearby Industry Drive. As a woman was getting out of her truck, Slusher jumped out, carrying with him an American flag on a pole. Deputies say he threw the flag in her truck bed, grabbed the woman's wrists and took her keys. However, officers say she got away by punching Slusher in the face.

Slusher then attempted to steal from someone else. This time, deputies say, he tried to drive away in a man's truck, but was caught by the driver, who pulled him out.

"He then lifts up his shirt and spins all the way around says some more stuff, walks back across 134, leans up against the truck and says 'Naw, I’m just kidding. Inside joke,' Hicks says. “So yeah, I was blown away at that point."

The bizarre turn of events ended when officers got there and arrested Slusher. He is still behind bars at Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail, charged with two counts of attempted robbery and assault and battery.