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Dayton Police Drop RTA Bus Driver's Shooting Case

Dayton police have closed the case of RTA bus driver Rickey Wagoner who claimed he was attacked on the job earlier this year, saying the evidence doesn’t support Wagoner’s story.

Wagoner, who is white, told police in February he stepped off his bus in the 1900 block of Lakeview Avenue in Dayton to investigate a loss of power and was attacked by three black men. Claiming he was shot and stabbed while fighting back, Wagoner said his attackers used racial language. The incident was being investigated as a hate crime.


Police Chief Richard Biehl says Wagoner’s account of the attack was inconsistent with the evidence.

“Following him being shot, after struggling three young men, disarming two, stabbing one, clearing the gun, firing one or more shots at them and then covering 200, 300 feet in 22 seconds, and to not be out of breath, to be able to conduct a normal conversation by cell phone when he called dispatch asking for help...just not possible in our experience,” Biehl said Wednesday.

Wagoner had claimed that two bullets were stopped by a book containing bible verses in his chest pocket. Chief Biehl says Wagoner’s wounds appeared self-inflicted.

“They are not wounds consistent with being shot and stabbed by three assailants,” he says.  “They are very superficial.”

According to the Dayton Daily News, Wagoner has been charged with violations of RTA’s Employee Standards of Performance. The case received national attention, and though the FBI could continue the investigation Dayton police say they will not pursue it further.

Jerry Kenney was introduced to WYSO by a friend and within a year of first tuning in became an avid listener and supporter. He began volunteering at the station in 1991 and began hosting Alpha Rhythms in February of 1992. Jerry joined the WYSO staff in 2007 as a host of All Things Considered and soon transitioned into hosting Morning Edition. In addition to now hosting All Things Considered, Jerry is the host and producer of WYSO Weekend, WYSO's weekly news and arts magazine. He has also produced several radio dramas for WYSO in collaboration with local theater companies. Jerry has won several Ohio AP awards as well as an award from PRINDI for his work with the WYSO news department. Jerry says that the best part of his job is being able to talk to people in the community and share their experiences with WYSO listeners.