AUSTIN (KXAN) — A man faces a felony charge after he was accused of threatening a bus driver with a knife-like object when he was told he needed to wear a mask to ride the bus, an Austin Police Department arrest affidavit says.
Ralph Raybon Degay, 52, is charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after police say an altercation Aug. 9 with a Capital Metro bus driver over wearing masks turned into a death threat with half a pair of scissors.
The affidavit says Degay got on the bus near South Congress Avenue and West Slaughter Lane, and another passenger told the bus driver Degay wasn’t wearing a mask. The bus drive stopped the bus at the Pleasant Hill bus stop and told Degay he needed to wear a mask to continue riding. Degay rummaged around in his bag and pockets, but couldn’t show he had a mask.
It was then, the affidavit says, Degay stood up and “displayed a demeanor that made [the bus driver] believe that Degay wanted to fight him.” The bus driver tried to lead Degay off the bus, and momentarily turned away from Degay to not trip down the bus stairs.
The affidavit says when the bus driver turned back around, Degay had half a pair of scissors in his hand, tapping it against the railing inside the bus. The bus driver then told police Degay said, “I paid my fare,” and “I’ll kill you, stop f—— with me, I’m going to kill you.”
The bus driver told police while Degay was making those statements, he pointed the broken scissors at him and “made a jabbing motion,” the affidavit says.
When questioned by officers, Begay said he didn’t have a mask and was trying to get to his COVID-19 “Pro-Lodge” hotel, a temporary housing arrangement where residents who may be vulnerable to the virus live rent-free and are provided meals while adhering to certain rules, the affidavit says.
Officers found the broken pair of scissors in Degay’s pants pocket, the affidavit says, but Degay denied threatening the bus driver with it. Degay said he cursed out the bus driver and was kicked off for not having a mask, and after he was told the bus driver felt like Degay threatened him, Degay said, “if I did, I’m sorry,” the affidavit says.
According to jail records, Degay is in Travis County Jail.