A married Pennsylvania state trooper is facing numerous charges after allegedly fabricating allegations that his ex-girlfriend was suicidal to have her involuntarily committed to a psychiatric hospital.
Ronald Keith Davis, 37, is accused of abusing his power to forcibly detain his former partner and have her locked up after their relationship broke down, according to the Dauphin County Prosecutor’s Office.
Disturbing footage released by authorities shows Mr Davis used a wrestling-style hold to arrest his former partner on August 21, when she appeared to be struggling to breathe.
According to a charging document, Mr. Davis had told her earlier: “I know you’re not crazy, I’m going to describe you as crazy.”
Mr. Davis had a four-month extramarital affair with the woman before the relationship collapsed, authorities said.
He then requested that the woman be involuntarily incarcerated and used his police email account to contact Dauphin County officials and submit texts claiming she had threatened suicide.
On August 21, Mr. Davis found her with an associate identified only as “MF” in a remote forested area in a state park where she was living in her RV.
Mr Davis chases her, sits and lies on top of her, before grabbing her from behind in a “wrestling style hold” and forcing her against a vehicle in the video.
The victim can be seen suffering in the footage as she repeatedly asks why she is being detained. As she tried to get up, Mr. Davis forced her back to the ground.
“You’re absolutely crazy…and then you’re painting me to look crazy,” she told him.
As she tries to free herself, Mr. Davis tackles her to the ground. She can be heard telling him that she “can’t breathe” and that she hasn’t done anything wrong.
The victim appeared to “genuinely not understand why she was being held,” according to a probable cause affidavit.
Uniformed officers then arrive and take the victim to Lehigh Valley-Schuylkill Hospital.
She was then incarcerated for five days, even though she showed no signs of suicide, the affidavit states.
She was released on August 26 after police reviewed text messages between the former couple.
“Although Trooper Davis provided text messages … and characterized them as suicidal, he failed to provide the full context of those messages,” the affidavit states.
“In fact, the text messages were the culmination of a larger domestic dispute between him and the victim. Taken in context, the texts revealed her frustration with Private Davis and his controlling behavior…not an actual desire to harm herself.
Mr. Davis is charged with felony strangulation, unlawful restraint, reckless endangerment, false imprisonment, simple assault, reckless endangerment of another, and official oppression.
Mr. Davis, who authorities say is married and has a family, appeared for arraignment on September 21 and is being held without bail.