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Review clears detective in mall shooting

March 13, 2014

PARKERSBURG — An internal review by the Parkersburg Police Department found a detective acted appropriately when he shot and killed a suspect at the Grand Central Mall in January, Chief Joe Martin......

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Mar-19-14 9:12 PM

Double-checked at the mall, asknot. NOPE! No security cameras, inside or out, at that entrance. With the customer base I saw walking around, they won't be able to pay the electric bill on that place much longer. Have to move the DHS drills to Wal-Mart soon.

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Mar-17-14 8:59 PM

OK! HERE'S YOUR BREAK! For me to be "doing nothing different than" you are doing, they would have had to ORIGINALLY told the story that Phalzgraf ran out the door with the purse snatcher and THEN changed it to "no, he was waiting in the car".

That would presently put us into a relatively comparative basis as to argument positional status, although still remaining in a 180 degree oppositional juxtaposition. But, even then, both arguments would have to be credible simultaneously and that's an impossibility.

SOMEONE, connected with the story, IS lying...and dead men tell no tales.

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Mar-16-14 12:29 AM

asknot - I'll look out for my tin foil hat. I will, however, happily exchange it for that crystal ball you possess that let's you be assured that the "facts", surrounding an event you didn't witness, are the truth even though the people relaying the information to you have told two diametrically opposite stories over the course of the past three months.

It's people like you that fall for stories where someone has something to hide and they say there's "not a smidgen of corruption involved" in order to cover their butt.

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Mar-15-14 2:23 PM

Never met a good cop ,or one that I would trust

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Mar-15-14 2:29 AM

Strange that you can go to WTAP online archives, that suggests you can call up an article that was broadcast within the last year, but you can't call up their original broadcast of this incident from just three months ago. That's OK. I DVRed a copy.

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Mar-15-14 2:20 AM

exofDevola - I'll ask the same of you that I ask of asknot. What FACTUAL EVIDENCE do YOU have for what we were told was FACT, the word of two people that have much to lose? The 'official story' has changed.

Don't cite the dead man's mother's reaction to me. She wasn't there and if other 'witnesses' have had 'the squeeze' put on them, I would remind them, "Don't bear false witness". You'll answer for that. I, as a concerned citizen, have a right and a duty to be just as concerned as his mother should be.

In light of recent revelations about what our government has been up to, I am apprehensive about giving them the benefit of a doubt about anything, Thank You Very Much.

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Mar-14-14 7:31 PM

Kunectdots get over it, the dept. found no wrong doing. If the mother of the sad soul mr Pfalzgraf is not blaming the police, I think there is going to be nothing else. Go picket the police dept city hall or whatever. I'm sure if they did what you wanted and politely moved out the way after checking the plate and let the getaway vehicle proceed out of the parking, you would have had one gussy fit. Because these criminals wanted out of there quickly and didn't really care much about who they ran over. You seem to forget the part about how the driver turned back to run down the second officer. When he made that boneheaded move, it made politely letting these drivers go on their way not happening. There is not a conspiracy in everything the police do.Poor choices and criminal behavior led to this trios fate. They picked a great time to steal a purse, a mall with a convention of police.

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Mar-14-14 6:56 PM

exofDevola - uhhhh, have you heard about a possible Grand Jury indictment? Now, we all now how that goes when our Boys in Blue show up as possible defendants, just like it did in the Bonar shooting investigation.

But you seem to have discounted a step in the legal process a little prematurely. I think YOU know better than to do that.

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Mar-14-14 6:49 PM

You know all of you can moan and complain til the cows come home. In the end, the officer has been cleared . He's back at work and good for him. I'm so sick of all this , well it was just a purse snatching, the police should have one this and just got the license plate. Well that's a bunch of crap, they do not preach always be nice to lowlifes dragging you as you tried to stop their getaway car, and really be courteous and jump to the side when they are trying to run you down. Even the mother of Mr . Pfalgraf does not feel the police acted in appropriately . So live with it the decision, or do something besides writing here.

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Mar-14-14 6:25 PM

Just some advice asknot, if you and your big gun shoot somebody that "will run into" you in a purse snatching-type situation, you'd better have everything you own titled in someone else's name. I'M DONE WITH YOU!

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Mar-14-14 6:19 PM

asknot - You say. "..word initially over scumm that are dumb enough to commit a crime in front of that many witnesses!" Mr. Phalzgraf isn't around any longer to have ANY WORDS.

Let me play the Devil's advocate for a moment and side (partially) with you. How do you know that they hadn't successfully committed purse snatchings there before? I ANSWER; You Don't!

You don't really think that the mall management permits the publication of all crime that occurs there, do you? It's not in their self-interests to make you aware of it. They want your money and they need you there to get it.

Leave some packages in your car at Christmas time. You might be one of the lucky ones and they'll still be there when you return, probably because of all of your non-existent security cameras (LOL).

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Mar-14-14 6:10 PM

BTW asknot - A couple of years back, a shoplifter was being chased out of Kole's (South P-burg) and bumped a female pedestrian on that parking lot in their attempted getaway.

BOOM! That victim's name was instantly revealed.

What's the name of the mall purse snatching victim?

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Mar-14-14 5:54 PM

(cont) Oh, that's right! The word of two guys who's reputations hangs in the balance. No self-interests to be found there!

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Mar-14-14 5:54 PM

asknot - I went to the mall, immediately following the shooting, AND the cameras you allude to must be very well hidden. The original interview was on WTAP (not a newspaper) and involved information disseminated by WV State Police Lt. Michael Baylous (yes, the same one that now apparently doesn't believe his own story).

"Why you choose to defend criminals over cops is beyond me!" Well sir, I'm NOT defending criminals. Unlike you, I'm not brainwashed enough to believe that stories told by people wearing badges are always the truth.

If they kill someone and lie about the circumstances in which they did it, that makes THEM the criminals.

Show us all, asknot, how you can prove that Phalzgraph wasn't just a startled bystander to the purse-snatchers actions, who tried to flee from a sudden situation into which he was thrust and paid for it with his life. WHAT EVIDENCE DO YOU HAVE?


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Mar-14-14 9:53 AM

Haha BeRight, of course they have steering wheels. The dead man's motivation seems to have been to get away from the two guys chasing the car, not to run over someone. Anyone with any sense at all knows that if a car is bearing down on someone, that someone (the police officer in plain clothes) should be smart enough to get out of the way. If there are as many cameras as Asknot has claimed, then there should be more than ample evidence as to what actually happened. Witness memories are subjective, but camera's recordings are not, provided they are real recording devices and that the recordings were not tampered with. Asknot, I often agree with you, but will never understand or agree with your propensity to carry multiple weapons or the idea that might makes right.

Did the dead driver make poor decisions that day? Of course! Did the purse snatcher make a poor decision that day? Yes! Did the police officers overreact? Without a doubt!

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Mar-14-14 8:29 AM

Tessie: cars have steering wheels. Stepping aside does not work if the driver is smart enough to turn the wheel.

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Mar-14-14 1:14 AM

SORRY - WASN'T engendered

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Mar-14-14 1:13 AM

BTW asknot - Go to that area of the mall and look for cameras. I did and saw nary-a-one.

IF there WERE cameras, we'd have video for review, wouldn't we? Heard of any? In the confusion, you would also have few witnesses that REALLY recall what they saw FOR SURE.

The purse-snatcher, that they are presently holding in jail, would likely be cooperative with whatever story will lighten his ultimate punishment. If the dead man's mother, would get a competent attorney (that was engendered into local law enforcement) this story could take interesting turns (all your "what if(s)" notwithstanding).

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Mar-14-14 1:04 AM

asknot - Let's take the dispute down to simple physics; time, space and mass. Mr. Phalzgraf's MASS should not have been occupying two SPACE(S) at the same TIME.

We were originally told, by the media as relayed to them by law officials, that Mr. Phalzgraf was waiting in the car when they chased the purse-snatcher out to the car. NOW, I feel as a legal dodge, we are told that Mr. Phalzgraf was chased out of the mall at the TIME he was originally cited with waiting in the car. He was, apparently a miracle man and was able to occupy two places at one time.

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Mar-13-14 11:55 PM

BTW asknot and ExofDevola - Seeing as how at least one of the shots missed the intended driver/vehicle and, instead, took out the back window of a neighboring vehicle, what would your explanation be to the young lady's (that was in the car and had apparently done nothing) survivors if Mr. Sure-shot had put one through her brain?

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Mar-13-14 11:50 PM

asknot - Even foregoing my speculation that we may have been given a line of BS concerning the actions of Mr. Phalzgraf's recognition or non-recognition that he was dealing with legal authorities, I still consider gun-play on the Food-court/Theater parking area of the mall to be HIGHLY DANGEROUS for others. It was, after all, a simple purse-snatching. No violence involved. Did it necessitate the situation be escalated to the point of gunfire?

I'm ALSO sticking with the original report from the WV State Policeman that Mr. Phalzgraf was, indeed, sitting in the car during the foot chase. WTAP is now being suspiciously 'ginger' in how they are reporting the new scenario.

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Mar-13-14 7:58 PM

If I'm that police officer and the car was headed toward me, I'd o everything in my power to disable it. If that means shooting into a car evaded for me after commission of a crime, I'd be shooting. The driver was stupid, if he was so intent on his getaway, drive away. instead the bozo tried to run down the policeman, after first driving away dragging the other officer who trying to get the keys. Do you think the officer is just going to jump out of the way?

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Mar-13-14 5:34 PM

Isn't it STRANGE that the 'official story' changed from one where Mr. Pfalzgraf (the dead man) was originally said to be just waiting in the car, to the more recent story that HE was, in fact, chased to the car, from INSIDE the mall, along with the purse snatcher????? This new story helps to cover the aspect that the officers need to show that Mr. Phalzgraf HAD TO KNOW that he was dealing with police officers and disregarded their authority.

This story HAS taken on the undertones of Washington County's very own Bonar incident, MR. SEARS.

I support the police, but abhor corruption and cover-ups. This case stinks!!!

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Mar-13-14 4:58 PM

The department's policy on deadly force states that "an officer may use deadly force to protect themself or others from what they reasonably believe to be an immediate threat of death or serious bodily injury to the officer or others."

"The definition of reasonable belief is: A conclusion a reasonable person would draw from the totality of circumstances," the policy states.

A reasonable person would step aside, not stand in front of a car.

I think I would wait until an independent investigation is done before congratulating the P.D. for a job well done Mr. Sears. It was excessive force for the set of circumstances. It was a purse snatching!

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Mar-13-14 4:37 PM

Good for the officer! Well done!

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