For the past five months, I have been a bit “creeped out” by what was happening near my hometown….
There was a certain man named Ralph “Bucky” Phillips, who had been in a minimum security prison for parole violation. Bucky was said to have had a very long record of petty crimes….but, crimes nonetheless. These included break ins and thefts. He had earned the privilege of working in the kitchen, and it was there that he stole a commercial can opener and planned his escape….one week BEFORE he was due to be released.
Last June, in Elmira, Bucky was stopped by a police officer who spotted the stolen car he was driving. As the officer approached the car, Bucky shot him and took off. Thankfully, the officer lived.
After this point, there were “Bucky spottings” here and there, but no one seemed capable of catching him. In the past 5 months he has been on the lam, he allegedly broke into a gunshop and stole 41 guns. He also stole over 15 different vehicles.
Believe it or not, after this all happened, people actually were beginning to see Bucky as a local folk hero.
My brother had to have open heart surgery in June. He lives in the woods and has a few guns. When we visited him in the hospital, he said he had moved his arsenal to a “safe place”. He said if Bucky ever stole his guns and hurt someone, he could never live that down. I thought that was such a strange comment…..UNTIL all the stories about stolen vehicles and guns were released.
To add to this, my brother has a little dog named Bucky….of ALL the names!
A week ago yesterday, police were beginning to close in on Bucky. It was said that several of his friends and past jail mates had been helping hide and protect him. As police officers surveyed his former girlfriend’s home, Bucky allegedly shot two troopers. One was hit in the leg. The bullet penetrated an artery. The other trooper was shot in the back…the bullet going through his protective vest. The trooper who was shot in the leg lost an enormous amount of blood and his leg had to be removed last Saturday. The next day, he passed away. He was 32. He had celebrated his son’s first birthday just one month ago and yesterday was his wedding anniversary. The troopers were shot with what was believed to be a high-powered rifle.
From published reports, after this spineless shooting, people began to lose the sense of “cat and mouse” folk hero, and began to wish he would be captured.
Shortly after 8 pm tonight, Bucky raised his hands and came out of the woods where he had been evading the police (NY and PA, as well as FBI) since the early hours of this morning.
I am sorry that a petty theif became a murderer. I am sorry for the police officers that have suffered the loss of one of their own. I am so sorry that a wife and child are now feeling the loss of their husband and father. This whole thing is just so sad.
The fact that Bucky did all of this just with only one week of time left in his sentence doesn’t seem to make sense. But, then again, what sordid story of useless loss of life ever does?