Michael Walker not charged in death of Aaron Bishop, first fatal RTD attack in decade
It was one of the most shocking stories of this past May -- Michael Walker's fatal stabbing of Aaron Bishop on an RTD bus in plain view of passengers. According to RTD, the incident was the first assault resulting in death on one of its buses in more than ten years. Months later, and with virtually no media attention, the 18th Judicial District DA's office has decided against charging Walker with a crime. See the full report below.
Pics, videos below.
Senior deputy district attorney Brian Sugioka's report, addressed to Aurora Police Department Detective Tom Wilson, offers a version of the incident that took place on May 3. According to the narrative, the altercation, which revolved around Walker, Bishop and a third man, Robert Rodgers, appears to have been sparked by a disagreement about opening windows on the bus.
Walker is described as a 52-year-old maintenance worker who rides the bus regularly and knows the driver, as well as some of the passengers. Bishop, 38, was unemployed at the time of his death, having recently been fired from a gig as a line cook "due to cursing and threatening other employees and customers," the report maintains. As for Rodgers, 31, he still worked at the bar that had sacked Bishop, who he referred to as his brother; 9News referred to the pair as half-brothers, but the report says no sibling relationship was definitively established.
At the time of his death, Bishop is said to have had a blood-alcohol content of .239 -- about triple the legal driving limit. Neither Walker nor Rodgers were tested for alcohol or drugs.
When Bishop and Rodgers hopped on the bus at about 4:23 p.m. on the 3rd, Walker was already seated, and the trio didn't seem to pay much attention to each other. But a few minutes later, Bishop and Rodgers opened windows on either side of the bus. The driver responded by asking them to close the windows, and when they ignored him, he stopped the bus, walked back into the passenger area to personally shut them.
On video of the incident cited in the report, Walker can be seen saying something to Bishop and Rodgers. Most witnesses recalled his statement as something along the lines of, "If you mess with the driver, you mess with me."
A few minutes later, Walker searched in vain for a place to sit that was further away from Bishop and Rodgers, only to return to his previous spot. When he did, the report says Bishop moved to the seat opposite and glared at him. Words were then exchanged, and while the audio couldn't catch all of them, witnesses offered their best guesses of what Walker said to Bishop. Among them:
"You don't want this. God's got me. If you come at me, we can handle this."
"You don't want this. Come at me and I will handle you."
"Don't fuck with me. I'm not your plaything."
"Don't fuck with me. I'm gonna hurt you."
"If you come near me, you will pay."
Continue to read more about the first fatal assault on an RTD bus in more than a decade.