RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A military veteran dies on board a Greater Richmond Transit Company bus while suffering from a medical emergency. Disturbing video captures the victim being robbed by another passenger during the final moments of his life.
On Thursday, September 10, shortly before 11 a.m. GRTC riders alerted the driver that a man had collapsed. In a panic, the driver pulled over at 1st and Federal Streets in Gilpin Court, called 911, and evacuated everyone off the bus.
8News learned that the man who collapsed was 66-year-old Ray Bass. Richmond Police confirm the retired Air Force veteran was on his way to a doctors appointment at the Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center when he suffered a heart attack and died on the GRTC bus.
Disturbing video released by RPD shows a man, who police have identified as Damontea Chappell, pretending to help Bass, but really the 20-year-old is seen stealing from the military veterans pocket as he lay unconscious in his final moments on Earth.
Richmond residents 8News talked with say they are disgusted and sickened by the heinous inhumane act.
GRTC says while the bus driver was following emergency procedures, Chappell lied and said he was assisting Bass so he wouldn’t be alone, however the video shows otherwise.
Upon examination, Chappell can be heard saying aloud, “Pops, what yo name is pops?”, “I’m trying to find your wallet” and “Where is your wallet?” Eventually, Chappell is seen on camera grabbing Bass’ wallet and grabbing a wad of cash, leaving him helpless and alone.
“He was acting as though he was a good samaritan. When all the while he was a wolf in sheeps clothing,” said Richmond Detective Greg Russell.
Detective Russell said Chappell took anywhere from $200-$400 from Bass’ wallet and he’s never seen anything like it.
“I’ve been a police officer for 30 years and I’ve never seen anything like this,” Russell said. “This might take the cake.This is a vile incident that should not have happened. This man deserved respect and was totally disrespected.”
According to an online obituary, Bass was a former aircraft mechanic and enjoyed fishing, football–especially the Redskins, and family. Bass leaves behind three daughters, multiple grandchildren, and other loving family members.
Detective Russell tells 8News Chappell stayed on scene after stealing from Bass, even sharing with officers that he was “terrified” and “had never seen anyone die”, but never confessed to swiping the man’s money.
Once the video surfaced, Russell says he knew just where to look.There is a warrant out for Chappell’s arrest. Russell says he spoke to the suspects mother who said her son will turn himself in Wednesday.
An official from the Richmond Police Department said the suspect turned himself into police at 5:30 p.m. and is being held without bond tonight.
Below is a statement from GRTC–Carrie Rose Pace.
“GRTC commends the other passengers who did come the passenger’s aid and notified the Operator of the health emergency. They did the right thing and humanely tried to help. Our Operator followed the emergency protocols to ensure the right help could arrive as quickly as possible, too. They really did act with care and we believe most people would in the same situation.“