Kingston bus driver recognized for bravery in fighting off knife-wielding man
Kingston Access bus driver Richard Wagar has been recognized by Kingston police for his bravery and heroism after fighting off an armed attacker on his bus 18 months ago.
The veteran driver of 30 years says December 14th, 2017 isn’t a day he’ll forget anytime soon.
“It happened just like that and I grabbed the knife; I’m really lucky,” Wagar said. “Had it been anyone else, like I told the judge, we would have been going to a funeral.”
Wagar was waiting for a passenger on Elmwood Street when a man with his face covered knocked on the door of his bus. Thinking the man needed directions, Wagar opened the doors and the man boarded.
“He just came up with a buck knife and tried to stab me in the throat,” Wagar said.
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Dramatic surveillance video of the struggle between the two men was captured from inside the bus. Police credit the surveillance footage, as well as Wagar’s detailed description of the accused, for a quick arrest.
Det. Const. Jim Veltman, who was the officer on the case, said the perpetrator had attacked two people previous to Wagar and had it not been for his bravery and quick action, there could have been more victims.
“It’s very possible that that male could have gotten control of the bus; it’s very possible he could have left the bus armed with the knife — who knows what he would have done after that,” Veltman said.
“There were three attempted murders on the same day and I don’t think he would have been finished.”
Wagar has received a commendation of merit from Kingston police 18 months after the incident at a ceremony honouring local heroes and officers. However, Wagar is a humble hero who has walked away from the dramatic interaction grateful for every day.
“I don’t care about what my golf score is anymore, I’m just out there golfing,” Wagar said.
“I’m on this side of the sod — that’s all I care about.”
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