According to police in Dayton, Ohio, a bus driver’s claim that a Bible shielded him from bullets earlier this year when teenagers attacked simply doesn’t mesh with uncovered evidence and facts.
Rickey Wagoner, 49, said that he was outside of the vehicle on February 24 to investigate a mechanical issue when three black teenagers assaulted him.
At the time, Wagoner reportedly credited a copy of a Bible translation called “The Message” with stopping two bullets from entering his body, though he said he was stabbed in the arm.
He also claimed to have wrestled the gun away from the assailants, sending them fleeing before he boarded the bus and dialed 911, according to the Daily Mail.
While the FBI initially investigated the incident as a hate crime, as the driver reportedly told police that the men were black and made a racially-charged comment, authorities now say that the original story doesn’t appear to be true.
Authorities believe the driver staged the attack, stabbed himself in the arm and shot bullets into the book himself, the New York Daily News reported.
“This assault, as reported, is not true, not accurate,” Police Chief Richard Biehl said at a news conference this week.
Following an investigation into the matter, police said they found it highly improbably, based on ballistics testing, that bullets wouldn’t have passed through the book and into Wagoner.
See some of that testing below:
Additionally, other factors caused them pause.
Wagoner didn’t appear out of breath on his 911 call or when he entered back onto his bus, despite the fact that he claimed he had run and fought for his life.
Also, only his DNA was found at the scene, the Daily Mail reported.
Greater Dayton Regional Transit Authority, Wagoner’s employer, has said that he violated employee standards, though no criminal charges have been waged against him at this time.
“This incident has been tremendously upsetting to our customers, RTA employes and to the Greater Dayton Community,” executive director Mark Donaghy said in a statement. “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.”
See uninterrupted surveillance footage from the night of the incident (caution: language):
Donaghy said that the company is “angry and appalled” and that there was nothing in Wagoner’s 10-year record that would indicate such behavior was possible.
As TheBlaze previously reported, the bus driver told police in February that he had stopped to investigate a mechanical problem when three teenagers confronted him.
Wagoner told police he overheard one of them say, “If you want to be all the way in the club, you have to kill the polar bear,” WDTN-TV reported.
The Dayton Daily News explained that the term “polar bear” is “street lingo for a white person,” which led to speculation at the time that the attack was gang-related.
Wagoner offered no comment when a WHIO-TV reporter went to his home to request an interview:
The FBI had previously opened the investigation as a hate crime.
(H/T: Daily Mail)