A Las Vegas resident is dead after being fatally stabbed while riding a public bus within the city. The tragic incident occurred after the victim got into a verbal altercation with a fellow passenger.
via: New York Post
Aaron Cole, 59, was charged with the brutal Feb. 26 slaying of Dominique Lucas, 30, after an argument erupted aboard an RTC bus.
Video screened to a Clark County grand jury shows the disturbing encounter, and Lucas shouting “I wasn’t bothering you” at Cole, who is seated beside him, 8 News Now reported.
Seconds later, Cole pulls out a knife and stabs Lucas, who runs out of his seat to the front of the bus.
“Let me off,” Lucas shouts, struggling to push open the exit. But the driver keeps going even as Cole walks up and continues to knife the screaming man.
The shocking attack lasted about four minutes, with the bus doors briefly opening and closing. Cole returns to his seat as Lucas continues begging for help. The bus driver is then seen activating a panic button to call for help — and asking if Lucas wants to get off the bus. Cole gets back up and starts stabbing the victim again, the video shows.
Police said the attack took place at 4:50 p.m., and that the bus stopped five minutes later as the driver and passengers ran out. Police got to the scene at 4:58 p.m.
Only one passenger was seen helping Lucas, who crawled out of the bus and died of his wounds, the news outlet reported. Cole remained on the bus.
According to the grand jury transcripts, the driver claimed he kept the doors closed for the safety of the victim and passengers. When a grand juror asked if it was protocol for a driver to physically help an injured rider, the driver answered, “Not that I know of,” the news outlet reported.
“I mean, the first priority is your own safety, so I’ve got to make sure I’m safe enough to operate that bus for the other passengers also,” he said.
A spokesman for Keolis, which operates the bus for RTC, confirmed the policy, saying the doors needed to remain shut because of the risk of the victim or passengers running into traffic. The bus was on an alternative path that day and driving on the left side of the road.
Ten days prior to the stabbing, Cole was arrested on a charge of assault with the use of a deadly weapon and carrying a concealed weapon. Sources told 8 News Now the incident involved Cole threatening another person on a bus with a knife.
In 1994, Cole was arrested on a second-degree murder charge after shooting a man in a Salvation Army lobby in Texas, the news outlet reported.
The charge was reduced to aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and he spent 23 years behind bars before being released in 2017.
Following his arrest for the Feb. 16 incident, Cole was released on his own recognizance, with the judge waiving the $3,000 bail prosecutors had asked for — deeming Cole a “low risk.”