After spending 22 years behind bars for a crime he didn’t commit, Calvin Buari was finally a free man. Convicted in 1992 of murdering two brothers in the Bronx, the judgment was eventually vacated. The appeal by the District Attorney’s office was dropped after the prosecutors failed to prove he did the crime. Now he’s launched Ryderz Van Service to help loved ones find rides to prisons in New York.
Calvin Buari: The Murder Case
In the early 1990s, Calvin Buari was a crack dealer who ran a crew that controlled an area of the Bronx that became known as “the corner on blood.” Calvin was ahead of his game then and made a lot of money from his illegal enterprise. He remembers owning:
- 2 BMWs
- 2 mink coats
- A mink hat
In 1992, a member of his crew had shot Buari in an effort to gain control of the corner. Instead, he implicated him in the execution of two brothers. He turned state’s evidence and testified against him for the Bronx district attorney.
In 1995, Buari was convicted of the murder. He was only 24-years old. The courts sentenced him 50-years-to-life in the New York state prison system.
From the beginning, Calvin Buari maintained his innocence. He said drug world rivals framed him. In 2005, Dwight Robinson confessed to the murder of the two brothers and also to framing Buari. The felon was the rival who had shot him for control of his corner.
Finally, this proved Buari’s continuous claim that he did not commit the murder.
Buari carried out the fight for his freedom by contacting external sources, anyone who might hear him out. He relied on Steve Fishman, a journalist, who started to look into Buari’s story seven years ago.
Initially, Fishman doubted Buari’s claim of not committing the murder. He kept taking Buari’s calls anyway. And slowly, he was drawn in to help the wrongly convicted man fight for his freedom.
‘Empire on Blood’ Podcast Moves Justice Forward
By 2015, Fishman was convinced that Buari was convicted of a crime he did not commit. Fishman chronicled Buari’s journey for justice in his podcast, Empire on Blood. Fishman also interviewed an eyewitness who testified in court that Buari was not the murderer.
Another witness claimed to be with Buari a couple blocks away when they heard the shots fired. This convinced the judge to vacate the conviction in May 2017. Unfortunately, the DA decided to appeal, and he remained in custody until the charges were dropped due to lack of evidence.
Anybody would be filled with animosity after sitting in prison for over two decades for a crime they did not commit. It definitely was not a different experience for Buari’s first few years in prison. At 47, Buari admits that his time in prison honed his entrepreneurial skills.
Uber-Like Prison Visitor Transportation Company
While in prison, Calvin used the time to develop his business skills further. He utilized his skills on legal business ventures. Once a powerful drug dealer, Buari he came out a changed man.
He knew it would be challenging for him because of his past and what he once was… a drug dealer.
The question is, how will society react to him? Most times, they do not root for the ex-con, even an exonerated one. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter because Buari believes in himself.
Prison Ride Companies Will Stand the Tests of Time
According to Buari, prisons will never go out of business because they are so ingrained in our society. He started Ryderz Van Service, specifically for the family members and visitors of inmates who need transportation to and from the prisons in New York.
Buari is one of the full-time drivers, along with his girlfriend Chi. When he started the company, they only had his girlfriend’s car. Now, there are three vehicles and two additional freelance drivers.
At the moment, the prison ride business owner is focusing on shuttling family members of inmates from Green Haven Correctional Facility, where he spent 22 of his formative years. He dreams his business will blossom into an app-based prison visitor transportation company, similar to Uber.
An Uber-Like prison ride service would make it easier to ferry family members and visitors of inmates to all 52 correctional facilities located in New York.
Ryderz Van Service for New York Prison Visitors
Visiting someone incarcerated often requires families to drive hours to get to a facility. A majority of the families do not have cars and have to rely on other services. The service options have only one trip per day. Buari’s company makes more trips per day.
For only $50, you get a round trip ticket from the City of New York to local prisons with Ryderz Van service.
You get a civilized ride in clean minivans with no more than four people. The other options have you crammed in like animals with 14 other people. Buari makes two trips a day so you can visit your imprisoned family member and be home in time for lunch.
Since Ryderz Van Service began operation, Buari has generated more than $100,000.00 in revenue. He was released from prison with the plan to build a legit empire as his legacy. Now he wants his business to be the ‘Uber of prison visits.’ Yet, with only three vehicles currently, he has a way to go before he can call it that.
But, Buari is an ambitious free man. As people wait in line for their NY prison visits, Buari hands out his business card to everyone in line and explains the services he offers.
To him, the old Calvin Buari is dead. He can hustle his way out by selling anything legal. This new and improved man believes in second chances because he knows he is not that same boy he was 22 years ago.