The Richmond police received an emergency call on May 27 at 5:37 a.m., regarding a passenger's dispute with New Century Travel. That's one of several so called Chinatown buses that have cropped up in the last few years that offer cheap rates between East Coast cities, often making stops in Chinatown districts.
The caller complained that a bus employee refused to return her belongings, setting off a bizarre chain of events that led to a gang arrest and the shutdown of the popular transportation operation.
Officer Michael Kiniry responded to the call. He's a gang specialist, says 3rd Precinct Capt. Will Smith, “so his knowledge of gangs and gang activity is extensive” — an unfortunate coincidence for Aiden Tuite.
Richmond police arrested Aiden Tuite, who was wanted for simple assault, after an unrelated 911 call May 27 regarding the Chinatown bus.Tuite, 21, was returning from New York City and, Smith says, is a gang member wanted on a simple assault charge stemming from an incident July 1. Smith says that Tuite belongs to the not-so-notorious World War Crew. He was arrested on the spot, arraigned and released.
“They're not the worst of the worst,” Smith says, “but I don't think you should take them lightly.”
Tuite disputes Smith's characterization. As for Kiniry, Tuite says, “he's just a street beat officer that has a weird obsession with my group of friends.” Tuite declines to discuss his affiliation with the World War Crew, but says news accounts of the group as a well-heeled band of straight-edge kids — punk rockers who eschew drugs or alcohol — is inaccurate.
“We come from all different economic backgrounds,” Tuite says. “Some of us lived in group homes their whole lives.”
In the course of arresting Tuite, the officers realized that the New Century bus company was operating without a business license. By 10:30 that morning, city code-enforcement inspectors were nosing around the storefront depot at 4501 W. Broad St. They cited New Century for operating without a license and condemned the building as unsafe.
New Century was one of three Chinatown bus companies in Richmond making trips to New York and Washington, but it is the only bus that also stopped in Philadelphia.
As for the fate of the original caller's luggage: “The officers didn't note that in the call,” Smith says.
Editors' note: The print version of this story misidentified 3rd Precinct Capt. Will Smith.