published Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

Restaurant owners say shooting was off site

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Chattanooga police continue to investigate an incident on Bonny Oaks Drive in which a man was shot in the abdomen.

Ralph Higgins told investigators he was shot just after midnight Sunday while sitting in his car next to Walt’s Fireplace Restaurant and Sports Bar, at 6238 Bonny Oaks Drive.

However, Walt and Jeannie Marler, owners of the restaurant, provided security footage showing Higgins limping down the street and into their parking lot about 12:11 a.m. He goes off camera and Jeannie Marler said he was heading for his car, parked at a vacant business next door.

Eleven minutes later on the video, Higgins makes his way toward the sports bar when he slowly falls to the ground. A man entering Walt’s sees that Higgins is wounded and casually walks into the sports bar to tell a bartender. A frantic bartender calls 911 on her cell phone, according to the footage.

Jeannie Marler believes the shooting happened off site.

“If there had been a gunshot, there would be some reacting,” she said, gesturing to the other people shown in video. “We’ve been here 14 years, and we don’t have a lot of trouble. We don’t put up with it.”

Higgins told police he was approached by a man between 4 foot 11 and 5 foot 1 wearing a brown shirt. Higgins said the man got into a four-door brown car and left.

According the Marlers, police were scheduled to review the video footage Tuesday.

Chattanooga Sgt. Jerri Weary said there were no new developments in the case.

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rolando said...

A comment was made earlier about this being a drug deal gone bad. Looks more like it every day.

Understatement of the day: The restaurant owners are happy they installed a security vidocam and consider it a fairly good investment, all things considered. [If it were me, I would be figuratively dancing on the tables with glee.]

July 6, 2011 at 3:54 a.m.
natalie said...

Okay i was at Waltz bar and he was in there with his friends that night. He wanted to leave, he walked outside and went to sit in his car and the lady he was with said that he sent her a text saying he was sitting in the car and I thought we were leaving. She text him back saying that she had to finish her drink and pay her tab. However this man was not even drinking he had terminal bone cancer and he couldnt drink the friends say that it messes with his medications. the waitress did run in and tell the friends to come outside that their friend had been shot in the parking lot. Our cars were roped off because of where he was. I talked to the officer inside waltz bar about when could we leave because i didnt feel safe at that time. The friends of Ralph tell the officer that his daughter was now in route to chattanooga, they called his daughter and the police officer talked to her in right front of me. I think that this is business of it not happening at waltz is a bunch of crap just to show that waltz is a safe place to be!!! Its bad for business!!! NOT A DRUG DEAL GONE BAD!!!

July 7, 2011 at 8:31 p.m.
WANDA said...

RALPH WAS N THE BAR WITH FRIENDS HE DROVE THEM THERE HE DOES NOT DRINK SINCE HE FOUND OUT HE HAD CANCER ABOUT A YEAR AGO HE WAS DRINKING A COKE AND HE TALKED TO THE BARTENDER HE WAS FEELING BAD AND WANTED TO LEAVE THEY HAD BEEN THERE 3 OR 4 HRS HE TOLD HIS FRIENDS HE WOULD WALK HOME IT WAS HIS FRIENDS CAR HE WAS DRIVING THE MARLERS DID NOT SHOW THE TAPE WHEN HE WALKED OFF THE LOT HE WAS PARKED BESIDE THE DUMPSTER NEXT TO THE BUIDING NO MORE PARKING LEFT ON LOT FRIENDS CALLED RALPH TO COME BACK THEY WOULD BE READY TO GO HE DID WHEN HE CAME BACK HE COULD BARELY WALK BECAUSE OF HIP HE WALKS LIKE THAT WHEN HE S HURTING THAT S WHEN HE WAS SHOWN COMING BACK ON TO LOT MARLORS KNEW THAT THEY JUST SHOWED WHAT THEY WANTED PEOPLE TO SEE SO THEY WOULDN T LOSE CUSTOMERS THE FEW MIN.HE DISAPEARED WAS WHEN HE WAS SITTING IN CAR WAITING ON HIS FRIENDS THATS WHEN THE PERSON CAME UP AND SHOT HIM HE GOT UP TO GO N THE BAR FOR HELP WHEN HE FELL WHAT NATALIE SAID WAS TRUE DONT BELIEVE THE MARLERS THEY SHOULD BE BOYCOTTED FOR LYING

July 8, 2011 at 8:07 p.m.
natalie said...

I cannot believe that the bar owners have portrayed this as just something that happened in the parking lot...Our bar is safe for business he just came and fell in our parking lot. This will be the last time that I go there. I do not like how they handled this...You know they wont let the staff come forth and say yes, i served this man his coke, or we would have heard it by now on the news. I hope that the news channel will at least get the full story and share it. With all the DRUG DEAL COMMENTS and caught in a lie comments trying to make RALPH look like he is lying.....IT IS DEFINATELY THE MARLERS LYING!!! His friends were sitting behind us and we talked back and forth after people sang their songs because it was karaoke night. This was a truly scary event to be so close for myself in this kind of situation. They were waiting in the parking lot for someone....what if i had been the one to walk out there??? It could have happened to any of us! They didn't announce what happened and didnt want anyone going outside. Myself along with 2 others inside were medical personnel and could have helped him! I do not know this man just met him that night but I truly feel sorry for him and his family. They had our cars roped off as crime scene. They had to search for more bullets before we could leave. Even more appalling that they have not caught this guy with such a good description Ralph was able to give....this person is not off the streets yet. TIMES FREE PRESS NEEDS TO TALK TO THE FRIENDS OF THIS MAN AND GET THE TRUTH....IM BOYCOTTING WALTZ ALSO WANDA! WANDA, THANKS FOR SHARING YOUR COMMENT!!!!

July 12, 2011 at 5:01 p.m.
natalie said...

Oh and just for the record I dont know Wanda. You must be a friend, family member, or worker at Waltz. If you talk to him. Please tell him that at least a complete stranger will take up for him and what happened when the BAR wouldnt! That I hope he feels better soon! I really think someone (him or family) should go to the NEWS about this ordeal so that the truth comes out!

July 12, 2011 at 7:11 p.m.
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