Mall Cop Fired Over Fight, No Word Yet on Charges

The Ohio Valley Mall security guard who fought with another woman on mall property has been let go from her position.

Joe Bell, spokesman for mall owner Cafaro Co., said after the mall’s security division conducted its own investigation of the incident, it determined the guard did not act properly during the situation that occurred May 9.

Reports indicate the guard approached the woman and told her to stop taking photos on mall property. The woman, along with a few other people, were using mall property to get a better view of a vehicle accident that had just occurred on nearby Interstate 70.

Bell said the Belmont County Prosecutor’s Office still is determining whether to pursue charges in the incident.

Sheriff David Lucas confirmed Wednesday that neither woman was arrested at the scene, where several people stood around and watched as they fought. Some took photos and others took videos that eventually were uploaded to the Internet.

The mall’s security division, Bell noted, determined the guard ”hadn’t upheld all the standards required of its security officers.” The guard’s employment was terminated late Monday. Cafaro Co. initially stood by the guard’s actions, but Bell said that was because it was waiting for the security division’s final report.

”We were not going to throw her under the bus until the facts were in,” Bell said. ”We didn’t want to convict her in the court of public opinion.”

According to a copy of the sheriff’s report, deputies were called to the mall for a report of a security guard being beaten by a woman. On arrival, they discovered the woman had left and was last seen driving toward Gabriel’s on a motorcycle. Deputies located the woman and brought her back to mall property. A deputy also watched a video of the incident made by a witness and observed the guard yelling at people, telling them to leave, for five to seven minutes before the fight started. The guard then rushed toward the woman and the fight ensued. The woman told deputies the guard grabbed her first, something a witness at the scene also told deputies.

County Prosecutor Chris Berhalter could not be reached for comment Tuesday.