A Canadian bus driver who claimed to have been hijacked was in custody after he allegedly took a passenger hostage, drove his vehicle across the border and led police on a wild chase.

The bus was on its regular run from Vancouver's hotels to the airport late Wednesday when its driver told one of his two passengers to get out on a city street and then bolted to the border, according to police.

Vancouver police originally thought the driver had been taken hostage because he radioed his dispatcher that men with machine guns had boarded the bus, said spokeswoman Anne Drennan.

Vikram Menon, 37, drove his bus through the U.S. border at the Peace Arch crossing 30 miles south of Vancouver, heading south in the northbound lane of the busy highway, according to the Whatcom County sheriff's office.

Three cars were forced off the road as the U.S. Border Patrol and Washington State Police chased the bus through Blaine, Wash., then to another border crossing 12 miles east in Lyndon.

Police stopped the bus before it reentered Canada, but Menon allegedly locked the vehicle and started to choke his female passenger. She was nearly unconscious when officers forced their way inside, police said.

Officers said they found no evidence of gunmen.