FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 25, 2022
A Statement from CATS CEO John Lewis
On Friday, February 11 Operator Ethan Rivera was tragically murdered while working his shift. Law enforcement have successfully identified Darian Dru Thavychith as the suspect involved. Police continue to use all available resources to bring Mr. Rivera’s murderer to justice.
Following this senseless act of violence, we’ve experienced rampant speculation regarding the safety of CATS bus operators and our transit system. Our team is working closely with the SMART labor union to create solutions that address workplace safety concerns. Most recently, CATS conducted an audit of the entire bus fleet and replaced 11 defective radios.
Over the past five years, CATS buses have traveled nearly 60 million miles across the Charlotte region. We’ve provided over 64 million passenger trips – connecting riders to opportunity, places and each other. With each trip and mile traveled, our riders and operators share the same goal – to get home safely.
In order to achieve our shared goal, we all must treat each other with respect, patience and basic human decency. Let it be known that violence, crime and disorderly behavior will not be tolerated by CATS or our law enforcement partners.
As we at CATS continue to mourn this tragedy, we remain steadfast with our commitment to safety. I ask all riders, operators and community members to join us in this responsibility we have to each other.