HAMDEN, Conn. (WTNH) — A CTtransit driver made an unsettling discovery on Wednesday morning when he observed what appeared to be a noose at the CTtransit Hamden Garage.
“I noticed this noose was hanging down,” said Shane Hawkins, a CTtransit driver. “Right away, it caught my whole attention.”
Shane Hawkins has been a driver for CTtransit for nearly two decades. He said he was startled by what he saw.
“I stopped, I looked at it, I called over another worker to confirm it,” Hawkins said.
It was reported to a member of the team and CTtransit told News 8 they looked into it immediately.
“There’s just so much going on in society,” Hawkins said. “The last thing you want to do is see this at your place of work.”
CTtransit explained there are several ropes in their bus maintenance facility for supporting the battery electric bus charging cables, which are used to make sure the cables retract.
Thomas Stringer, general manager at CTtransit, released the following statement.
We do not suspect any ill intent; however, perception can lead to one’s reality. We are sensitive to these issues here at CTtransit. Once management became aware of the incident as reported, we removed the loop on the supporting rope used to hold the charging cables for the Battery Electric Buses. As a result, we have ordered “D” style pull handles to attach to the end of the ropes at the charging stations to eliminate future misunderstanding. I am proud of my team members in Bus Operations and Bus Maintenance at our New Haven division who work together tirelessly to deliver service to the riding public.
Hawkins said he and his coworkers have never seen any kind of rope hanging down.
“Unfortunately, as a minority, we already feel like we have one strike against us when we walk out the door,” he said. “It’s definitely an uncomfortable feeling.”
He’s called Hamden police to file a complaint and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) has been notified and will be conducting its own investigation.