In an unsettling incident captured on camera, a Pennsylvania state trooper, Ronald Davis, has been accused of assaulting his ex-girlfriend while allegedly abusing his authority to have her involuntarily committed to a hospital. This troubling ordeal has led to Davis facing multiple charges and suspension from his position.
The allegations against Davis stem from his improper acquisition of a warrant for the involuntary commitment of his former girlfriend, without disclosing their personal relationship. This accusation comes from a criminal complaint and probable cause affidavit provided by the Dauphin County District Attorney’s Office.
In a disturbing turn of events, Davis took it upon himself to execute the commitment order and even asked another individual to film the encounter. The released 12-and-a-half-minute video, made public by the DA’s office, depicts Davis seemingly strangling and restraining his ex-girlfriend while she repeatedly pleads, “I can’t breathe.”
As a result of these actions, Davis, who has been serving as a state trooper since 2015, has been suspended without pay in accordance with state law. He now faces serious charges, including felony strangulation, unlawful restraint, false imprisonment, and simple assault.
The woman involved was held at Lehigh Valley Hospital for four days until her release on August 25. The DA’s office stated, “The video and text communications with Davis show that [the victim] was rational and the involuntary commitment was improper.”
At his preliminary arraignment, a judge ordered Davis to be held without bail in Dauphin County Prison, and a preliminary hearing is scheduled for October 2. The potential consequences Davis might face if convicted remain unclear, as does information regarding his legal representation.
Davis, who is married and resides with his family in Dauphin County, has refrained from commenting on the situation.
The disturbing chain of events began when Davis informed his colleagues on August 21 that his ex-girlfriend was living in a camper on his property, and their relationship had deteriorated. They had been involved for four months. Davis claimed their disagreement was related to clothing stored in his garage and alleged that she was suicidal, stating that she had sent him a text minutes earlier about driving off a cliff.
Davis initially hesitated to involve Dauphin County Crisis Intervention, a 24/7 program, for her involuntary commitment, but eventually did so. Strangely, he identified himself as a trooper despite it being a personal matter. During this time, state police attempted unsuccessfully to conduct a welfare check on the woman in various locations.
Despite being advised that on-duty officers would handle the situation, Davis took it upon himself to deal with it after the warrant for involuntary commitment was approved and issued. He left the station, located the woman at a picnic area, and forcibly removed her from the scene. A third party, whose connection to Davis remains unclear, was instructed to film the encounter.
In the distressing video, Davis can be seen physically restraining the woman while she pleads for release. He even appears to strangle her by the neck, ignoring her pleas. Notably, Davis did not assert that he was acting in an official capacity as a trooper during the incident.
After her release from the hospital, the woman reported to the police instances where Davis had allegedly attempted to control her, using tactics such as threatening to paint her as mentally unstable and asserting his knowledge of the law. She also revealed that he had restricted her access to her belongings and once made an unsettling call to the state police station where he worked during an argument.
Text messages exchanged between Davis and the woman in the days leading up to the incident revealed his disparaging remarks and controlling behavior. The police investigation did not uncover any credible suicidal or homicidal threats, but instead highlighted the woman’s frustration with Davis and his need for power and control in the relationship.
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This troubling case underscores the importance of recognizing and addressing domestic violence. If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence or the threat thereof, please seek help from organizations like the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or visit www.thehotline.org for confidential assistance. Remember that there are resources available to provide support and safety.