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Jabbar Gibson (reported also as Jabbor or Jabar) is a New Orleans resident who gained notoriety after Hurricane Katrina destroyed much of the city's infrastructure, when he stole an abandoned New Orleans school bus from the flooded area and drove victims to Houston, Texas. He was 18 years old at the time.
Gibson reportedly took approximately 70 passengers on the seven-hour drive to Houston, stopping for fuel three times after, he said, "we passed a hat around until we had enough money." Notoriety followed when it was reported Gibson could have potentially faced charges for driving the vehicle illegally. Gibson already had an extensive criminal history, including numerous arrests and a prior conviction for possession of a stolen automobile. He had two pending cases before Hurricane Katrina, for possession of cocaine and for aggravated assault with a firearm. He was released from jail on the assault charge nine days before the storm hit.
In the years after, Gibson picked up more charges: On January 9, 2006, he was arrested by New Orleans narcotics detectives and federal agents and subsequently indicted on federal charges relating to possession of cocaine, heroin, and a revolver. He was sentenced to fifteen years in prison and was released in August 2015.
- WKMG-TV Local 6 story
- Houston Chronicle Article (with picture)
- The Sunday Times (UK)
- Man hailed as hero after Katrina is indicted, AP item printed by MSNBC
- Jabar Gibson's pending cases in the Criminal District Court for the Parish of Orleans
- Bus comandeered by renegade refugees first to arrive here
- Man hailed as Katrina hero gets 15 years in prison
- Hurricane Katrina Hero Jabbar Gibson Will Be Released From Jail Today
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A recent interview with Jabar Gibson about his flight from post-Katrina New Orleans is now available in Giles Slade's AMERICAN EXODUS: Climate Change and the Coming Flight for Survival." Mr. Gibson is eligible for parole in 2015.