Walmart assault leads to arrest


BUCKHANNON — A Buckhannon resident is behind bars at Tygart Valley Regional Jail (TVRJ) following an assault at Buckhannon Walmart Supercenter on Monday, January 3. Austin Wayne Arbogast, age 22, is now facing felony charges of strangulation and malicious assault.

According to court documentation, Buckhannon City Police Officer Angel McCauley responded to the store in reference to an assault. Upon arrival, Officer McCauley met with employees and members of Walmart’s management team and witnessed the victim, a Walmart employee, sitting against the wall. The victim is bleeding from his head and had other visible knots and lacerations.

As stated in the criminal complaint, multiple witnesses named the defendant, later identified as Arbogast, as the aggressor. Statements given by multiple witness say that the victim had just returned from lunch when approached by the defendant. When Arbogast determined the victim was the person he was searching for, he began to punch him several times.

Once on the ground, the defendant continued to attack by kicking and stomping on the victim. During the attack, the defendant also had an arm around the victim’s neck, in what Arbogast stated was a “neck restraint” during his written and signed confession. The victim was transported to St. Joseph’s Hospital for treatment. There, he later remembered being dizzy and close to incapacitated, due to not being able to breathe while the defendant’s arm was around his neck.

According to court documents, the extent of the injuries was unknown at the time statements were given. The altercation lasted approximately 30 seconds, which allocated a total of 18 punches, one kick to the stomach, one stomp to the face, one stomp to the head, three elbow strikes, two punches and two elbows to the back of the victim’s head to be delivered.

The defendant will remain at TVRJ until a cash only bond of $30,000 can be posted. Upon release, the defendant may not have physical or verbal contact with the victim.

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