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Man accused of stabbing RTC worker at downtown bus stop

A 40-year-old man is being held on $50,000 bail more than a week after his arrest on suspicion of stabbing and critically wounding an employee of the Regional Transportation Commission at a bus stop in downtown Las Vegas.

Xavier Whatley, in custody as of Tuesday at the Clark County Detention Center, is accused of thrusting a butcher knife into the left chest of the RTC worker George Duke on April 24 at South Casino Center Boulevard and Garces Avenue, according to a Metropolitan Police Department arrest report.

At about 12:30 a.m. that morning, Duke contacted a group of people waiting at the stop to tell them he would be getting a bus to come by to pick them up, police detectives said.

Whatley, one of the persons at the stop, then repeatedly yelled an obscenity at the employee, who asked the suspect to stop saying it “because it was rude and disrespectful,” police wrote in the report.

The suspect then allegedly brandished a knife and stabbed Duke in the chest, which caused him to be taken to UMC with critical injuries, according to police.

When a police lieutenant and a K-9 officer got to the scene, they noticed a trail of blood and followed it to the interior of a gated courtyard at 626 S. Third St. where they found Whatley hiding in some bushes.

Whatley had a fresh laceration on his hand, “consistent with being cut by a blade,” police stated in the report.

Police identified Whatley from RTC surveillance video of the confrontation with Duke, based on Whatley wearing a similar gray hoodie, black socks and slip on sandals as the person in the video, police said.

Prior to his arrest, Whatley stated he did not remember what happened and asked for an attorney before answering further questions.

After obtaining a search warrant, police recovered a backpack, a knife sheath, a blood-stained white T-shirt, blue hat and a butcher knife with a 10-inch blade and apparent blood on it, police reported.

Whatley’s bail was set at $50,000. He faces charges of attempted murder and battery with the use of a deadly weapon, court records show.

His preliminary hearing in Justice Court is scheduled for May 11, based on court records.

Contact Jeff Burbank at jburbank@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0382. Follow him @JeffBurbank2 on Twitter.

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