A Los Angeles school bus about to begin its morning run was hijacked from a parking yard early Wednesday by a man who forced the driver to take him on a 200-mile journey into the Central Valley before she escaped unharmed, authorities said.

No children were aboard the bus when the man approached the driver, whose name was withheld, about 4:50 a.m. at a yard in Gardena, about 13 miles southwest of downtown Los Angeles.

Initial reports said the man was armed with a gun, but authorities said they recovered a plastic pistol when they arrested Christopher Lee Andrews, 29, of Los Angeles.