DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – A 2 NEWS exclusive interview with an RTA bus driver reveals more information about his version of an early morning attack near his bus.
Rick Wagoner says he was approached by three black male teenagers in February as he was trying to inspect his broken bus in Dayton. He claims he was shot and stabbed before he grabbed the gun from one of his attackers, but he says he doesn’t remember if he shot back at them. He also told Dayton police the teens were wearing hoodies and blue bandanas, but he says an officer told him only red bandanas are worn in that part of Dayton.
Jackie Price is a social worker and program director at South Community, a local mental health agency. She says trauma can impact the victim’s memory, making details hard to sequence. Victims, she says, can forget and their memories do change.
Just before the attack, Wagoner says the attackers said, “to get in the club, you gotta kill the polar bear.” He said he didn’t know what that meant, but he has been told the “polar bear” was referring to him.
This story made national headlines when Wagoner said the bullets were stopped by a religious book that he had placed in his shirt pocket. Since then, he has been contacted by the author of the book, “The Message”. Eugene Peterson sent Wagoner 51 copies of the book and a large Bible.
“Their minds [victims] will go somewhere else so they are better able to cope with the experience of the trauma”, Price continued.
Dayton Police Chief Richard Biehl will not comment on ongoing investigations. Wagoner remains on paid administrative leave from RTA.