DENVER (CBS4)– RTD wants riders to know they are doing everything they can to curb violence on buses. Tuesday, a deadly stabbing on an RTD bus has left one man dead and another behind bars.
Isaiah Moreno appeared in court on Wednesday on first degree murder charges in the death of Estavan Ruiz. The judge in the case ordered Moreno, 20, held without bond.
The coroner said Ruiz, 39, was stabbed in the neck and died at the hospital.
It happened near West Colfax Avenue and Colfax Avenue Tuesday afternoon and other passengers said it started with a fight.
“I heard a bunch of screaming and yelling and arguing. The next thing I know one of the riders had been stabbed on the bus,” said witness Nick Aragon.
RTD admits that although fights are rare they do happen on public transportation like buses and light rail.
“It’s really shocking when something like this happens that is this serious and results in the death of a passenger,” said RTD spokesman Scott Reed.
RTD said they have been working to curb violence using undercover security and police to monitor what they call “problem routes.”
RTD said they have helped police take violent criminals off the street but there isn’t enough money to put security on every bus and train.
Last year a 53-year-old man was stabbed to death on an RTD bus during a route in Aurora. The victim had been arguing with two men who refused to roll up the bus windows.
It’s not just weapons that concern riders on RTD buses. Home video taken by a rider on the 16 line March 2 shows two men getting into a shouting match that escalates into a fist fight.
Witnesses said the confrontation lasted more than 10 minutes and only stopped when another passenger threw one of the men off the bus. The bus driver never stopped during the altercation or tried to stop it. He also did not file an incident report at the end of his shift.
When asked if there is a reason for people to believe their safety is in jeopardy, Reed replied, “We believe our system is safe especially compared to other systems across the country.”
One safety measure RTD has taken includes installing video cameras on every bus. The video of Tuesday’s deadly stabbing is being reviewed by Denver Police detectives.