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Theory as to Why Dayton City Prosecutor Didn't Charge RTA Bus Driver
DAYTON -- The demand is growing for criminal charges against the RTA bus driver who police say falsely claimed he was attacked and shot by three black men while on the job.
Dayton Police Chief Richard Biehl laid out the facts Wednesday, disproving Rick Wagoner's claims.
But the city prosecutor has declined to charge him.
And now, some who know Wagoner still believe his version of the story is the truth.
"It's frightening. Now all of a sudden he's a villain," said Sheila Martin, Wagoner's neighbor.
Martin has known Wagoner since he was a young boy.
He grew up with her son, and says he's a good man.
"He's basically a good person," said Martin. "He has his faults like everybody else, we all do, but I can't see where lying about something like this would benefit him."
But Wednesday, the Dayton Police Department held a news conference that laid out the facts of the February incident involving Wagoner.
"Twenty-two seconds to disarm not one, but two suspects," said Dayton Police Chief Richard Biehl. "Stabbing one of three, clearing the weapon, firing one or more rounds in response. To cover 200-300 yards from his own statement, get on the bus, not be out of breath. Just not possible."
And yet, Wagoner faces no charges.
Chief Biehl says his department presented their findings to the Dayton City Prosecutor and the prosecutor decided not to charge Wagoner with making a false report.
"I'm on the side of the police department, I think the police department got it right. I think this person should be prosecuted, I don't know why the city prosecutor's office is not taking action," said Thaddeus Hoffmeister, law professor at the University of Dayton.
Hoffmeister specializes in criminal defense, but he theorizes as to why the city prosecutors didn't move forward with charges.
"I speculate they may have a difficult time proving this up," said Hoffmeister, "It seems it may be more of a challenge but I do think they could prove this case against this man, from the facts that I've seen."
Facts that the Dayton Police Department say prove Wagoner lied.
And now, there's no one held responsible.
"I think that you set an example to demonstrate that the office has a consistent policy, and this was an opportunity to do that and it seems that they decided not to go forward," said Hoffmeister.
We reached out to the City of Dayton as well, they told us they will not talk any further about this case, and that it's not their policy to comment on charging decisions.
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