Denver mobile dab bus torched with Molotov cocktails, and no one knows who did it or even why

Denver mobile dab bus torched with Molotov cocktails, and no one knows who did it or even why

The Dab Space Station has had it's last burn sesh

VicesNovember 09, 2019 By Will Brendza

At 4:45 AM on Monday the 4th, Madi Love woke up to the sound of her cat howling.

She got up to investigate, and realized that outside her house, lighting up the night, her roommate, Ryan Skidmore’s business was ablaze. Love screamed for Skidmore, who she was worried might have been inside the bus.

Luckily, he wasn’t.  

“Your bus is on fire!” Love screamed.

Skidmore, still dazed and tired, leapt out of bed, threw on some pants and a hoodie, grabbed a fire extinguisher and came rushing upstairs.

“And as soon as I saw the light, I put the fire extinguisher down,” Skidmore recalls. “I said, I don't need this.”

There were no flames left by the time he got out there. The police and fire department had already extinguished the blaze. All that was left was the charred husk of what used to be known as the Dab Space Station, the party bus he’d retrofitted to be a mobile canna-business.

“This was just a private area for people to come and smoke. Like, it was just that party bus dab bus that everybody knew of and loved,” Skidmore says. “Or, that I thought everyone loved.”

At first the police suggested to Skidmore that it had been a simple electrical fire.  Some kind of technical issue with the bus’ electrical system that had misfired and resulted in flames. No biggie, they told him, they’d be back to investigate later that day.

Then they left.

Once the sun was out and things were brighter, though, Skidmore decided to go take a look for himself and see WTF had happened to his bus, his business, his baby.

“When I looked inside the driver's seat, there was a screwdriver and a pole like a bar. Basically, signs of forced entry,” he said. “And then, there were the bottles down on the floor.

Those bottles were the “smoking gun.” There were two of them, placed directly under the steering wheel; glass bottles, full of gasoline and stuffed with gas-soaked rags: Molotov cocktails. Homemade explosives.

And the real kicker? Nothing was stolen out of the bus. Whoever had decided to burn the Dab Space Station down, had done so just to burn it down. This was not a robbery. This was malicious arson, destruction for the sake of destruction. Something an enemy might do to take retribution on their nemesis.

I asked Skidmore if he had any enemies that he could think of who might have been angry enough to do something like this to him.

“Not that I know of. I mean- I- I mean, people have ‘frenemies.’ But you never know,” he says. “From everybody that I’ve talked to, we are all in good standing. So I don't know anybody that doesn't really like me.”

Skidmore’s Dab Space Station had been in action since 2016. He drove it around Denver, chauffeuring artists and groups to live music shows. Just this summer Skidmore drove people to 25 different Red Rocks shows (16 of which he attended himself). He’s helped with the Rolling Hope campaign, and he’s helped with Colorado Pay It Forward. The Dab Space Station has been his way of serving his community, by offering a cool, relaxed, interesting place to smoke weed and transport people to shows.

But those good times are over, for the Dab Space Station, now. The bus, while it didn’t explode, is totaled — the interior is charred and melted. Those Molotov cocktails did their job.

The night before he lost the bus Skidmore says he was in there, just hours prior to when he woke up and found it burned. He had a meeting on the bus with people who had just finished hosting a show. When the meeting was over, Skidmore’s clients got packed up and drove back to Colorado Springs. Skidmore went inside and crashed in his own bed around 3:45 AM.

“That was the last time I was in the bus,” he says. “We had seen this lady walking up and down the street and every time she came up to the bus and saw that we were in it, she walked away.”

But, Skidmore says, he honestly doesn’t know if this mystery woman had anything to do with the arson.

“You know, I don't want to point fingers at anybody. I don't know who could have done it. I don't know why they did it,” Skidmore says, “It's just a very sad story that somebody would go this far to destroy somebody's life. You know?”

Luckily, in the wake of this strange event, there has been an outpouring of support for Skidmore and his business. People have sent him listings for available busses, he’s started a Gofundme, known as the Dab Space Station Funeral Fund and he’s checking out replacement busses this coming week.

“I'm going to be renaming the next bus, the Phoenix because I'm going to rise above the ashes,” Skidmore says. He’s lost two homes to fires in his life, and he says that if someone wants bto stop him, they’re going to have to try a lot harder than this. “Nothing's going to stop me.”

If anyone has any information concerning the Dab Space Station arson incident, please contact Denver PD.