Name released of ex-RTC driver arrested for taking bus

By  | 

RENO, NV (KOLO)-- The name has been released of a former Regional Transportation Commission bus driver accused of taking over an RTC bus in downtown Reno and driving the route, dropping off and picking up passengers, until police intercepted him.

Mugshot courtesy Washoe County jail

55-year-old Devern Emerson has been arrested and charged with taking a vehicle without the owner's consent.

Fewer than a dozen passengers were on the Route 7 bus July 4, 2019 when it stopped at the bus stop at North Virginia Street and Old North Virginia Street, according to Abul Hassan, the general manager of Keolis, the firm that took over management of the RTC buses July 1.

“This is not a case of an individual walking off the street and taking the bus,” Hassan said. “Joe Public cannot get on these buses and drive the bus. These buses are too complicated for that to happen.”

There were no injuries in the incident. Why the former bus driver would show up and start driving the bus was still being investigated.

“The individual knew what they were doing,” Hassan said. “Why they were doing it is a mystery.”

Emerson went to the main RTC bus station on Fourth Street in downtown Reno and said he was driving the bus and left with the Route 7 bus, Hassan said.

While he drove the bus properly, Keolis's staff was able to determine something was amiss, Hassan said. A supervisor began tracking the bus and they notified police, who were able to get the driver off the bus about 7:45 p.m.

“I’m just damn proud my guys were able to track this,” Hassan said.

Copyright KOLO-TV 2019


The Regional Transportation Commission bus that was taken by an ex-driver with passengers on it. Photo by George Guthrie/KOLO.
The Regional Transportation Commission bus that was taken by an ex-driver with passengers on it. Photo by George Guthrie/KOLO.
Mugshot courtesy Washoe County jail