No, Those School Buses Did Not Bring Protesters to Casper
Contrary to claims made in a widely-shared post on social media, two school buses that have been partially painted black did not just arrive in Casper full of out-of-state protesters.
Rebekah Ladd, spokeswoman for the Casper Police Department, told K2 Radio News on Tuesday that the buses are privately owned. After receiving reports about the buses, evidently spurred by social media posts, police contacted the owner of the vehicles and determined that the buses are local and have not been used to bring protesters from other states into the Casper area.
Several posts on Facebook include photos of two school buses, evidently parked at the Granite 550 Apartments near Hat Six Road, and unfounded claims that the vehicles came from elsewhere with protesters who plan violence. Those irresponsible claims have now been proven false.
In fact, the buses are owned by a pair of lifetime Casper residents. Rebel Roan and Charlie Wolfe, both in their thirties, are planning a move to Georgia and converted the buses into "skoolies," which are titled as mobile homes.
The buses now contain beds, bathroom and other amenities often found in mobile homes.
Roan and Wolfe had been living at Granite 550 and moved out Monday. As part of that process, they had the buses parked in front of their apartment building, and Roan says that's when the now widely-shared photo was likely taken.
"We moved out yesterday and people saw us driving around town because we had a few stops to make," Roan told K2 Radio News in a phone interview Tuesday morning.
Now, Roan and Wolfe have to spend a few more days in town with their children and dogs before heading to Georgia. Due to the misinformation spread on Facebook, they're concerned about being mistaken for organized protesters and ending up on the wrong end of a confrontation.
"We're not part of any protests or any of that," Roan said. "We're just trying live our best lives."
Ladd said she does not, beyond this particular circumstance involving the buses, currently have additional information on whether protesters from other states are planning to journey to Casper for a gathering on Wednesday. She did say further information may be available Tuesday afternoon.
On Monday, Casper police took to their Facebook page and urged businesses near downtown to consider closing during the Wednesday protest, and several establishments have announced plans to do so. Police also urged anyone who is not planning to participate in the protest to stay out of the downtown area.
Separately, a peaceful vigil -- not a protest -- is set for 6 p.m. Friday in downtown Casper. It will begin at David Street Station, with participants then walking two blocks to the Hall of Justice, where several people plan to speak.
Ladd said Tuesday that her department's involvement in the Friday event is still being coordinated.