Three men set out to capture a Metrobus Thursday night but their plan was thwarted when the bus captured them.

Tyrone Price was driving his X-4 bus along Benning Road in Northeast Washington about 9:20 p.m. when the passengers began "raising a commotion," according to a Metro spokesman.

When the bus came to Oklahoma Avenue NE, the men walked to the front of the bus and announced they were taking it over. They ordered the 24-year-old Price off the bus, but before he got off, he set the hand brake.

One of the men jumped into the driver's seat and tried to start up. The bus wouldn't move. The three tried to release the hand brake, but couldn't figure out how to do it.

So, frustrated, they walked back to the rear of the bus. Price, who had been watching from outside, got back on the bus, released the hand brake and continued along his route.

About 10 blocks away, at 15th and H streets NE, the three "bus bandits" again came to the front of the bus and announced they were taking it over.

Again, they ordered Price off the bus. And again he set the hand brake and got off.

As 12 passengers looked on, the three men again tried to get the bus moving.

They hit the switch that closed the door and fiddled with switch after switch, but couldn't get the bus to budge.

One of the switches they did hit, though, set off little yellow flashing lights on the outside of the bus.

D.C. police detectives Jaqueline Simms and Arthur Johnson saw the flashing lights and ran toward the bus.

The three men saw the police coming and tried to open the bus door but couldn't.

One man kicked out a side window and jumped out. Another kicked out the bus door and ran.

Victor D. Oliphant, 18, of 3817 Jay St. NE, and Michael Sturdevant, 23, of 3696 Hayes St. NE, were arrested, police said. The third suspect got away.