Law enforcement officials have discovered that an Ohio bus driver who claimed to be shot and stabbed by three teens may have fabricated the entire event in order to push a racial and religiously-charged agenda.
49-year-old Rickey Wagoner initially reported to the authorities that he had been attacked by three black teenagers in Dayton, Ohio, where he works for the city transit system. Wagoner’s story also claimed that two of the attackers’ bullets struck the copy of “The Message,” a contemporary version of The Bible’s New Testament which Wagoner kept in his front shirt pocket. It was this book, Wagoner said, which prevented the bullets from penetrating his torso.
According to the New York Daily News, Wagoner also told police that one of his attackers said, “Shoot a polar bear ... if you want to be all the way in the club.”
Wagoner was referencing the gang-related practice that surfaced a few years ago in which members would allegedly assault overweight white men, called “polar bears.”
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As the investigation continues to unfold, however, police have begun to believe that Wagoner lied about the entire incident and inflicted the wounds upon himself. The stab wounds, for instance, have been determined to be self-inflicted because they do not represent the typical defensive wounds of an individual staving off an assailant. Also, only DNA and blood belonging to Wagoner was found at the scene of the crime.
Although no charges have been filed against Wagoner, police have spoken publicly about the evidence they have collected. According to the Dayton Daily News, police have also closed the case as unfounded and will no longer search for suspects.
Dayton’s Regional Transportation Authority, Wagoner’s employer, has responded to the investigation with plans to dismiss the bus driver.
“This incident has been tremendously upsetting to our customers, RTA employees and to the Greater Dayton Community. All of us at RTA are angry at the thought that an employee would allegedly mislead the police, the public and us and use ugly racial stereotypes in doing so. There was nothing in Mr. Wagoner’s employment record with RTA that suggested he might be capable of this alleged behavior. I can’t emphasize how angry and appaled we are,” RTA executive director Mark Donaghy said in a statement.