SHERIDAN Police Officer Assault: Bodycam Shows Suspect in Strangulation
SHERIDAN, Colo. (KDVR) – The Problem Solvers obtained body camera video of a September 3 incident that led to the arrest of a Sheridan police officer. Officer Shawn Ralph faces a second degree assault charge after allegedly placing a suspect in a strangulation during arrest at a 7-Eleven.
FOX31 received body-worn camera footage of four different officers after a court battle with Ralph, who asked an Arapahoe County judge to deny media access to the video.
This is the second time in a month that a Colorado judge has sided with a media consortium organized by FOX31 to obtain body camera video in a case where an officer fought for his release.
In Ralph’s case, body camera video shows he reacted after shoplifting suspect Benni Montano, 25, spat in his eyes. In the video, Ralph can be heard saying “F — ing spits on it!” before the video appeared to show him putting Montano in a choke for a few seconds.
Another officer quickly intervened and told Ralph to “relax”.
In the video, it is clear that Montano intended to spit in the direction of a 7-Eleven employee who had just come out to identify Montano as the person who stole a bottle of Coke and a packet of Nutter Butter cookies. As the 7-Eleven clerk turned to go inside the convenience store, Montano stood up and spat in his direction just as Ralph walked between the store clerk and Montano.
Montano was arrested for four misdemeanors and two minor misdemeanors relating to the assault of a first responder and shoplifting.
Ralph has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of his criminal case.
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