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Two in custody after murder on bus
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TTCBusBabe
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« on: September 22, 2006, 07:49:56 PM »

Friday, 10:30 a.m.: Investigators seek witnesses to Otawa's 3rd murder in five days

By JON WILLING, Ottawa Sun

Police say this morning they have two males in custody following Ottawa's third murder of the week late Thursday night.

A 23-year-old male is the victim of the stabbing, which occurred on an OC Transpo bus which was travelling along Baseline Rd. near Centrepointe Dr. last night at about 11 p.m. Few details have yet been released, but police have been interviewing a number of witnesses all night.

Investigators are asking anyone who was in the area of Baseline and Centrepointe last night between 11 p.m. and midnight to call major crime officers at 613-236-1222 ext. 5493, or Crimestoppers at 613-233-TIPS (8477).

There is no word yet on a motive for the killing.

Detectives continued their painstaking search for evidence through the night, and the bus involved remains at the scene.
 
A large section at the corner off Centrepointe and Baseline Dr. has been cordoned off with yellow police tape, including part of the parking lot at the Nepean Medical Centre.

There are also brown cardboard boxes currently covering evidence along the sidewalks. A brown and blue sneaker lay outside the bus on the sidewalk.

Steve Sokolowski, 24, said he noticed the crime scene after playing gpoker with his buddies. He has often been on the Route 118 and said he has witnessed violence on the bus.

“It’s usually the last bus ride of the night.

The death is Ottawa's third in the past 5 days, and the city's 14th murder of the year.

The killing spree started Sunday with the knife slaying of Sami El-Ghazal, 59, in the parking lot of a Merivale Rd. high rise. Mustafa Hassan, 24, faces a first degree murder charge in that incident.

Early Tusday morning, Khatera Sadiqi was gunned down and her fiance seriously injured in a shooting attack in a south-end shopping mall parking lot. Feroz Mangal, 23, remains in hospital with serious gunshot injuries, while police are hunting for Khatera's brother, Hasibullah Sadiqi, 20, in connection with the incident.

For more on this story, read tomorrow’s Ottawa Sun. If you have information on this crime, call the Sun news desk at 613-739-5112.

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« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2006, 07:38:08 AM »

Bus rider murdered

A late-night altercation in an OC Transpo bus ended with a 23-year-old man nicknamed "Odie" stabbed to death and Ottawa major crime detectives opening their third homicide case of the week.

The Route 118 extended bus was travelling east on Baseline Rd. around 11 p.m. Thursday when Michael Oatway was stabbed with a knife. The bus stopped at a bus stop at Baseline Rd. and Centrepointe Dr. after the incident.

Paramedics transported Oatway to the Ottawa Hospital's Civic campus, where he was pronounced dead, confirming Ottawa's 14th homicide of the year.

Police said a group of males fled the bus. Two males were arrested and brought in for questioning. No charges were laid yesterday and police were determining if there are more suspects.

Police seized a butterfly knife from the sidewalk outside the rear door of the bus. Cardboard boxes protecting evidence lined the sidewalk on Centrepointe Dr. yesterday. A right-footed shoe on the sidewalk near the front of the bus was covered by a box.


The triangular crime scene was massive, stretching from the bus stop on Baseline Rd., through part of the Nepean Medical Centre's parking lot and connecting at Centrepointe Dr. and Constellation Cr.

Steve Rozlen was driving his friend home when the bus pulled over. He was waiting at the traffic light at Baseline Rd. and Centrepointe Dr. when something caught his eye in the back of the bus.

'A LOT OF COMMOTION'

"I saw nothing but black coats and a lot of commotion," Rozlen said.

There were three or four people wearing black coats with fur-lined hoods rushing towards the bus door, according to Rozlen, who noted one person was wearing a do-rag. The 26-year-old said he wondered if something was wrong when the bus didn't drive away from the bus stop. When he drove by the scene again about 15 minutes later, Rozlen said he saw K9 and tactical units. As rain fell, cops gathered other bus occupants -- at least 10 people, who appeared to be mostly young adults -- into police vehicles, Rozlen said.

Just after 6 p.m., friends and family started a memorial at the stop on Baseline Rd. One male friend said Oatway "wouldn't hurt a fly."

Oatway worked at the Independent Grocer at Meadowlands Dr. and Merivale Rd. Co-workers were shocked yesterday morning when Oatway's brother came in and told them what happened. Some of the cashiers broke down in tears.

Oatway, who worked in the produce section, was a popular and well-liked employee, his co-workers said.

"He was a lot of fun," said Chris Traverse, 21. "If you were feeling down, he'd be the one to joke around and make you feel better ... he liked to go out on the town and party."

"I worked with him last night," Victor Lehtonen said. "I was completely shocked."

Some residents who routinely take the Route 118 were taken aback by yesterday's crime scene.

Dawn Matthews, 31, relies on the public transportation to get to work, but yesterday she reconsidered riding the bus.

"After this? I don't know," Matthews said. "I would be scared."

Anyone with information about the homicide can call major crime detectives at 613-236-1222 ext. 5493 or Crime Stoppers at 613-233-TIPS (8477).

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« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2006, 07:38:33 AM »

Drivers demand protection

The first homicide on an OC Transpo bus has given the public a "wake-up call" on the perceived safety of public transit in Ottawa, says the head of the bus drivers' union.

"A lot of people don't go out at night because they're afraid to go out in this city. The politicians need to take their head out of the sand," said Andre Cornellier, president of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 279.

The stabbing death of 23-year-old Michael Oatway on the Route 118 bus along Baseline Rd. Thursday night highlights the dangers for both passengers and drivers from attackers, said Cornellier.

"Maybe we're just lucky that none of our drivers have been killed because of these assaults," he said.

At a meeting last month, union officials presented OC Transpo managers with an 11-item list of drivers' safety concerns.


Cornellier said drivers need cameras and protective screens in buses, and legal sanctions to ban offenders from taking public transit.

Earlier this year, a survey by the bus drivers' national union found 39% of OC Transpo drivers said they had been physically assaulted on the job, and 54% said they had been verbally threatened.

Cornellier said some existing security measures, including silent panic buttons that alert transit security of emergencies, are unreliable.

OC Transpo's acting transit director defended the security measures.

"We're committed to improving the working environment of our staff and also we want our customers to feel safe and secure," added Helen Gault.

"It's not fair to say that we're ignoring this or not taking steps to improve things."

CAMERAS ON WAY?

OC Transpo security includes 45 staff who patrol the Transitway and watch 162 closed-circuit cameras set up in bus stations.

Gault said the company is expecting to get federal funding this fall to outfit 300 buses -- nearly one-third of its 950-strong fleet -- with closed-circuit cameras.

A standard bus would be fitted with three cameras, while an articulated bus would have five, said Gault.

The cameras would not be monitored, but would offer important videotape evidence of crimes. Gault also said the cameras would act as an important deterrent.
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RailBus63
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« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2006, 09:04:10 AM »

What is going on up in Canada?  The frequency of serious crime occurring on public transportation vehicles is troubling.
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« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2006, 12:57:00 PM »


OC Transpo security includes 45 staff who patrol the Transitway and watch 162 closed-circuit cameras set up in bus stations.


45 "officers".  Let see, two for the cameras each shift, that would bring it to 39 officers for patrol.  Divide the thirty nine by three shifts and you have 13 officers per shift, two of which are RDO any given day, bringing the number to eleven per shift.  Take off one to be a supervisor, down to ten. 

How big is your system with square mileage?
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« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2006, 01:23:35 PM »


OC Transpo security includes 45 staff who patrol the Transitway and watch 162 closed-circuit cameras set up in bus stations.


45 "officers".  Let see, two for the cameras each shift, that would bring it to 39 officers for patrol.  Divide the thirty nine by three shifts and you have 13 officers per shift, two of which are RDO any given day, bringing the number to eleven per shift.  Take off one to be a supervisor, down to ten. 

How big is your system with square mileage?

(TTCBusBabe may have a better answer later on.) The city of Toronto is about 250 square miles, and including two route in Mississauga and some in York Region, the service area is about 275 square miles.
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Kevlaf983
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« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2006, 05:21:41 PM »


OC Transpo security includes 45 staff who patrol the Transitway and watch 162 closed-circuit cameras set up in bus stations.


45 "officers".  Let see, two for the cameras each shift, that would bring it to 39 officers for patrol.  Divide the thirty nine by three shifts and you have 13 officers per shift, two of which are RDO any given day, bringing the number to eleven per shift.  Take off one to be a supervisor, down to ten. 

How big is your system with square mileage?

From http://www.octranspo.com/admin/Facts_Figures/Facts_ridership.htm

413 sq. km  or 159.4 sq miles
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TTCBusBabe
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« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2006, 07:43:41 PM »

Sorry for the delay, I'm on a real crappy 12hr shift, 4 hour break in between, my time is pretty limited when you add the comute in and back.  I'm not sure of the area covered for us but I do know we are lucky if we have 6 Security officers on per shift and don't forget there are none between the hours of 2am to 5am.  Take into consideration fo sick days and court appearances.

 2 am to 5 am is a vital time where there should be more, this is when the subway is closed, all passengers are on the night buses and only 2 Supervisors for the whole city on that shift, it's pretty pathetic, the City obviously relies on the Metro Police, unfortunatly they are on down time on that shift too.

As far as closed circuit cameras, they are only in the Subway and the collectors watch them during the hours the suway is open, only a few on the streets, and remember they are still working on placing cameras on the buses.

I really hope your driver is doing okay after this ordeal Kev.
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