RTA bus driver not charged

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Only 2 NEWS spoke with the the RTA bus driver who’s sticking with his story about being shot by three teens and saved by a bible in his chest pocket.

Wednesday, police announced no charges will be filed after a 4-month investigation found the bus driver’s claims unfounded.

“I didn’t make this up in anyway, shape or form. And because things happen that they can’t explain, they think that I am lying. They’re not offering any proof that I am lying,” said Rick Wagoner in an exclusive interview with 2NEWS.

In a conference, Dayton Police Chief Richard Biehl stated that, “I’m saying that this assault as reported is not true. It’s not accurate.”

Two versions of a story, after a 4 month investigation.

Chief Richard Biehl says he brought the police department’s findings, including Rick Wagoner’s own testimony, to prosecutors.

While he wouldn’t comment on whether the prosecutors decision was right or wrong, he did back their process.

“I would say their standard for prosecution is proof beyond a reasonable doubt. It is a rather high standard as it should be because we’re talking about an individual’s freedom here,” said Biehl.

Wagoner could have been charged with a misdemeanor for falsely making a report.

2NEWS is asking questions about why no charges were file; Beairshelle Edmé spoke with a local attorney to bring you another prospective.
M. Brice Keller said given the spotlight this case has had, it’s a bit surprising there weren’t charges filed, but he said you have to look at the bigger picture when it comes to this decision.

The criminal defense attorney told 2NEWS any good defense lawyer could have made it difficult for prosecutors to prove Wagoner had knowledge of his actions.

He also said taxpayer’s dollars and time plays a huge factor in whether to prosecute.

“… If the prosecutor believes spending the $40,000 to prosecute this guy might dissuade 10 or 12 or 20 future incidents like this he may go ahead and prosecute, even though it’s a medium to slightly better than average prosecution rate,” said Keller.

The lawyer also noted that the likelihood that this incident would be repeated is fairly low , which most likely factored into the prosecutor’s decision.

He also said that the damage to the public wasn’t directly related to this incident; possibly if it had been that may give prosecutors a stronger reason to charge Wagoner.

Keller also added that false report cases are hardly publicly prosecuted.

2 NEWS did reach out to the Dayton’s Prosecutor’s Office; they declined to answer our questions because they say it’s city protocol not to comment on charging decisions.

To watch 2NEWS’ exclusive interview with bus driver Rick Wagoner in its entirety, click here.

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