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Man accused of robbing dying veteran on GRTC bus appears in court

Posted at 11:42 AM, Sep 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-17 12:25:43-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- The man accused of robbing a dying military veteran while on board a GRTC bus appeared in court Thursday via video conference, one day after turning himself in to police.

Police say 20-year-old Damontea Chappell was seen on GRTC Surveillance video going through the wallet of Air Force Veteran Raymond Bass, seconds after bass tragically died of a heart attack on board the bus.

Chappell, according to police, was acting as if he was giving aid to Bass, but the bus video showed he went inside the man’s wallet and then slid the cash into his own pocket.

Chappell has charged with misdemeanor petty larceny and is being held without bond.

His next court appearance will be in November.

Family grieves for veteran who died on GRTC bus

Air Force sergeant Raymond Bass was laid to rest with military honors in his hometown of Clarkesville, Virginia Tuesday.

His niece, Cassandra Bass, sat down with CBS 6 on Wednesday and talked about her beloved uncle the man accused of rifling through his wallet as he died.

"Callin’ him pops as if he knew him,” she said. “He wasn't trying to help him at all. You could see he was actually kicking him to make sure he wasn't moving and dead before he went into his wallet."

It's the GRTC bus video that Bass says really infuriates her.

"The scum of the earth, bottom feeders and there's a lot out here amongst us," Bass said.

The military veteran was taking the bus to McGuire VA Medical Center for an appointment.

"Like most men, he kinda’ wanted to keep the health thing hidden so we didn't worry and I think it's why the sudden death has hit us so hard," said Bass.

At his graveside in Clarkesville, a final salute featured a flag folding ceremony for the fallen Desert Storm sergeant.

Bass was an Air Force mechanic who kept planes and helicopters maintained during his enlistment.

"My dad is deceased, so he was like a dad to me,” said Bass about her late uncle. “A very devoted family man, he'd do anything for his loved ones."

His common-law wife, Renee Scott, penned a message to Chappell after hearing about the accusations against him.

"Whoever the person is who went in Ray's wallet as he lay there deceased, has no soul and represents the devil. God is stronger and he will find you."