Newport man accused in mall purse snatching charged

The suspect accused of a purse-snatching that led to the fatal shooting of a Parkersburg man last week was arraigned today on a pair of misdemeanor charges.

John David Ragalyi, 27, of 370 Danas Run Road, Newport, appeared before Wood County Magistrate Robin Waters after he was arrested by West Virginia State Police today on misdemeanor counts of petit larceny and fleeing and eluding. He could face a maximum of one-year incarceration on each charge.

Bond was set at $10,000, and Ragalyi was taken to the Wood County Holding Center.

Ragalyi allegedly stole a woman’s purse in the food court at the Grand Central Mall on Jan. 14. He was chased into the parking lot by two Parkersburg Police detectives at the mall for a Homeland Security training exercise.

Ragalyi reportedly got into a car driven by Steven Lewis Pfalzgraf, 24, of Parkersburg. Pfalzgraf was shot by Parkersburg Detective P.M. Edelen after Pfalzgraf reportedly dragged another officer who tried to get the key out of the ignition and turned the vehicle toward Edelen.

The incident remains under investigation by the State Police.