Bus driver 'saved by Bible' update

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Bus Driver's Bullet-Blocking Book Tale Is 'Not True': Police

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) -- A white bus driver's story that a religious book in his shirt pocket blocked bullets as he was attacked by three black men isn't supported by evidence and testing, Dayton police said Wednesday as they closed the case, which had been investigated as a possible hate crime.

Rickey Wagoner, 49, told police he was outside his city bus Feb. 24 when men assaulted him. He said that two bullets hit the inch-thick book containing Bible verses and that one hit his leg and that he was stabbed in the arm, according to a police report. The report also said Wagoner told police he grabbed the gun and shot at the fleeing men.

Wagoner had told police that the assailants were black and that he thought the attack might have been a gang initiation.

Bus driver 'saved by Bible' update
This undated photo provided by the Greater Dayton Regional Transit Authority (RTA) shows bus driver Rickey Wagoner. Wagoner, 49, of Trotwood, told Dayton police he was standing outside the bus early Monday morning, Feb. 24, 2014, when he was shot three times, with one bullet hitting his leg, and stabbed in the arm. Wagoner told police he fought back, grabbed the gun and the attackers ran away. A biblical booklet in Wagoner's shirt pocket apparently helped him survive the shooting. Police say they are looking for three suspects. (AP Photo/Greater Dayton RTA via The Dayton Daily News) LOCAL PRINT OUT; LOCAL TV OUT; WKEF-TV OUT; WRGT-TV OUT; WDTN-TV OUT
This photo provided by the Dayton, Ohio Police on Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014 shows a gun recovered by Dayton bus driver Ricky Wagoner after he was attacked early Monday, Feb. 24. Wagoner, who is white, told Dayton police that he was outside his bus when three black men shot at him, with two bullets hitting a book of bible verses in his shirt pocket and one hitting his leg. He said he was also stabbed in the arm. (AP Photo/Dayton Police via The Dayton Daily News) LOCAL PRINT OUT; LOCAL TV OUT; WKEF-TV OUT; WRGT-TV OUT; WDTN-TV OUT
This photo provided by the Dayton, Ohio Police on Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014 shows a knife recovered by Dayton bus driver Ricky Wagoner after he was attacked early Monday, Feb. 24. Wagoner, who is white, told Dayton police that he was outside his bus when three black men shot at him, with two bullets hitting a book of bible verses in his shirt pocket and one hitting his leg. He said he was also stabbed in the arm. (AP Photo/Dayton Police via The Dayton Daily News) LOCAL PRINT OUT; LOCAL TV OUT; WKEF-TV OUT; WRGT-TV OUT; WDTN-TV OUT
This photo provided by the Dayton, Ohio Police on Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014 shows the front of a copy of "The Message," a book of Bible verses that Dayton bus driver Rickey Wagoner was carrying when he was attacked early Monday, Feb. 24. Wagoner, who is white, told Dayton police that he was outside his bus 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. (AP Photo/Dayton Police via The Dayton Daily News) LOCAL PRINT OUT; LOCAL TV OUT; WKEF-TV OUT; WRGT-TV OUT; WDTN-TV OUT
This combination made with photos provided by the Dayton, Ohio Police on Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014 shows the front, left, and back of a copy of "The Message," a book of Bible verses that Dayton bus driver Rickey Wagoner was carrying when he was attacked early Monday, Feb. 24. Wagoner, who is white, told Dayton police that he was outside his bus 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. (AP Photo/Dayton Police via The Dayton Daily News) LOCAL PRINT OUT; LOCAL TV OUT; WKEF-TV OUT; WRGT-TV OUT; WDTN-TV OUT
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But his account wasn't found to be factual, Police Chief Richard Biehl said at a news conference.

"This assault, as reported, is not true, not accurate," Biehl said. Police did not say Wagoner made up the story and didn't explain why he would have made the report. Biehl did say it appeared Wagoner owed on back taxes.

A recording at a phone listing for Wagoner said the voice mail could not accept more messages.

No criminal charges have been filed. But the Greater Dayton Regional Transit Authority said Wednesday that it has charged Wagoner with violating its employee standards.

Police did extensive testing, including simulating the shots fired into the book. Biehl said it wasn't credible to believe that bullets didn't pass through the book into Wagoner.

Biehl also said that only Wagoner's DNA was found at the scene and that his injuries weren't consistent with defensive wounds.

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