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Bus driver shooting probed as possible hate crime

Ohio Bus Driver Credits Bible for Blocking Bullets and Saving His Life

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) - Authorities said Wednesday that they are investigating whether the shooting of a bus driver who said a book of Bible verses in his pocket helped stop two bullets could have been a hate crime.

Bus driver Rickey Wagoner, who is white, told Dayton police that he was outside his bus early Monday when three black men shot at him, with two bullets hitting the book in his shirt pocket and one hitting his leg. He said he was also stabbed in the arm.

Wagoner, 49, was released from the hospital Tuesday.

Police Chief Richard Biehl said Wednesday that he became concerned about the possibility of a hate crime after reading the initial police report and that he forwarded the report to the FBI's Dayton office.

"They are working with us," he said.

FBI spokesman Rick Smith said agents will help determine whether the shooting was a hate crime, a federal civil rights violation.

Biehl said Wednesday that police recovered a .25-caliber semi-automatic pistol and a knife along with four spent rounds and three live rounds from the gun. He said the spent rounds match the number of shots heard on an audio recording from the bus.

"We are looking to get the audio and video of the bus recording enhanced," he said.

Biehl said there were no witnesses and no video of the shooting.

Police are analyzing evidence that includes the knife, shell casings, bullets and the gun.

A driver for the Greater Dayton Regional Transit Authority, Wagoner said he stopped the bus to check a mechanical problem around 5 a.m. Monday when the men approached him. Wagoner told police he fought back and grabbed the gun and that the men ran away. Wagoner told police he fired at them before driving the bus to safety and calling for help.

Wagoner said in his 911 call that he felt two shots to his chest.

"It just feels like I've been hit with a sledgehammer," Wagoner said on the 911 call.

Police said two small-caliber bullets hit the booklet called "The Message," which has Bible verses in contemporary language, and were found lodged inside the book.

Police on Wednesday displayed a photo of the book that showed where two bullets entered through its cover. When asked about the book's thickness, police used as an example a book that appeared to be about an inch thick.

Wagoner told police he just started carrying the book about a week earlier.

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itooso February 27 2014 at 9:28 AM

What does working at home have to do with this article.

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Bob February 27 2014 at 10:04 AM

if its the way around, you notice the media could care less, justice NOT served again, its a two way street but the media only sees one way!!

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Richard February 27 2014 at 10:16 AM

Grabbing the gun from an armed man ... attaboy !

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bigtomieswife February 27 2014 at 2:18 PM

I live in Dayton and this crap happens all the time. It's sad really. My daughter (now this was back in the 90's was waiting on an RTA bus to get to Grace A. Green Acadamy. Two young black men grabbed a young white man off the bus and stabbed him repeatedly, needlss to say my daughter had to go to therapy because she couldn't get the sound of the attack out of her head. Very little was said about this except it was a drug related event.Nothing about race hateing people . I don't care if the color of a person is purple, people are people, humans. not that black or that white.HUMANS. I have a mixed great grandson and great grandaughter. One is as human as the other. Both are loved. one is half Mexican,the other half black. SO what ! All I know is I didn't hear the NAACP yelling about this attack.....I wonder why ? Since we are all humans and we all have rights.

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1 reply
Karen bigtomieswife February 27 2014 at 3:33 PM

Most crimes are black on black and white on white -- probably proximity is the reason.

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Jack February 27 2014 at 2:21 PM

I have a problem with the concept of hate crimes. It would make no diference to me if someone shoots me for my wallet or because they despise my race or religion etc, Also the enforcement of these laws seems to often give minorities a free pass. For example in New york some years ago a group of blacks harrassed and physicaly assaulted a goup of white girls wearing catholic school uniiforms. I am happy that the bus drivers book saved him from death or serious harm.

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1 reply
CrazyDave Jack February 27 2014 at 3:31 PM

it is my belief that every crime against another is a hate crime.. the term is just PC BS

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Jack February 27 2014 at 2:35 PM

What happened to the post I made? I pointed out that it would matter little to me if someone killed me for my wallet or because I am white or becuse I am catholic. Also I entioned that soe years ago In New York agroup od white girls in catholic school uniforms were assaulted and harrassed by a group of Afric American kds and it was not classed as a hate crime by the authorities.

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1 reply
Karen Jack February 27 2014 at 3:32 PM

It got printed 10 minutes before you posted this one, guess you missed it. It's a few posts down. Fortunately it made slightly more sense than the one you just did.

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hellsmagnet February 27 2014 at 8:06 AM

i was wondering what happened to " radar " when he left " mash " .

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mbrheljr February 27 2014 at 8:04 AM

Hate crimes are hate crimes.

If certain ethnic groups are excluded as possible victims, then such laws lose their purpose.

And, as an aside, reading other comments here this AM, what “sneakyp957” says about U.S. DOJ isn't necessarily a "stupid racist remark."

I did lots of research when I wrote 564-page America's Two Toughest Sheriffs.

(See Books page at www.CourtroomSurvival.com for details)

It's Bibliography has 811 footnotes.

I made sure my research was honest and that I relied only on credible sources.

Perhaps “bshesler” can explain why U.S. AG Eric Himpton Holder, Jr. dismissed a slam-dunk provable 2008 voter intimidation case against the New Black Panthers Party for Self-Defense. (Victims were Caucasian. Intimidators were African American.)

Not only was the crime captured on videotape, but, an independent eye witness was a self-described "long time liberal civil rights lawyer" who made a declaration under penalty of perjury.

My long time experience as a trial lawyer finds no excuse for the dismissal.

And, as any competent trial lawyer does, I tried to prove the other side was right.

I couldn't...

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1 reply
katydid579 mbrheljr February 27 2014 at 8:15 AM

Pffffft... we only have your "word" as to your honesty.

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1 reply
Wonders katydid579 February 27 2014 at 8:44 AM

Obviously you can't read. He gave you a link to read. Do it or shut up.

Flag +1 rate up
masteq February 27 2014 at 2:43 PM

Typical of what you can expect from those people...

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2 replies
Karen masteq February 27 2014 at 3:36 PM

Right, like those racist white males in FL who are so thrilled with Stand Your Ground that they think they can force a situation where they can shoot unarmed blacks -- yeah, " those people."

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1 reply
cbofgdale Karen February 28 2014 at 9:52 AM

For probably the 1000th time, Zimmerman wasn't white. And Zimmerman was getting the crap beaten out of him. Zimmerman was following the kid...why would he all of a sudden pounce on him? The kid hit him in the back of the head and he had an injury there.

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weeeally masteq February 27 2014 at 3:45 PM

Typical that you dumbass buckras would fall for this tale. You all are going to feel like the real idiots that you are when the real story is revealed. By then again, your racism may not allow you to feel anything but "upset" that a white man was caught in a lie

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1 reply
cbofgdale weeeally February 28 2014 at 9:54 AM

Why don't we just see if it was a lie first, instead of you assuming such. And even if it was, there are plenty of real incidents.

Flag 0 rate up
goodbarnes February 27 2014 at 3:11 PM

It is hard to believe that a police chief actually has the guts in this contemporary, politically correct society to investigate a possible hate crime when the victim is white and the perpetrators are black. It is about time that at least one police agency disregards political correctness and acts fairly.

Flag Reply +4 rate up
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