Pennsylvania Cop Who Committed Ex-Girlfriend to Mental Facility Charged With Abuse of Power

New video shows Ronald Davis physically attacking his ex-girlfriend in order to bring her in against her will, while she tells him she "can't breathe."

Pennsylvania Cop Who Committed Ex-Girlfriend to Mental Facility Charged With Abuse of Power
Photo:Dauphin County District Attorney’s Office

A Pennsylvania state trooper was arrested on Thursday on several charges—including strangulation and false imprisonment—for allegedly abusing his state power to have his ex-girlfriend improperly committed to a mental facility last month, new court documents obtained by Crime Watch reveal.

The officer, Ronald Davis, faces charges of “felony strangulation, unlawful restraint, false imprisonment, simple assault, recklessly endangering another person, and official oppression.” Video released by Dauphin County district attorney Francis Chardo on Saturday shows Davis manhandling and physically attacking his ex-girlfriend in order to bring her to Lehigh Valley Hospital-Schuylkill against her will. The physical struggle resulted in injuries to her forehead, torso, back, arms, and lower body, per the documents filed by the district attorney’s office. The woman was held at the mental facility between August 21 and 26 before being released when medical personnel determined there was no reason to hold her.

On August 21, Davis and other troopers confronted his ex-girlfriend at a state park to bring her to the hospital against her will. The video shows Davis telling his colleagues, “I’ll take care of this myself,” as he tries to carry her to his car. A struggle between the two ensues, and Davis is seen sitting on top of the woman, keeping her in what the district attorney’s office characterized as a “wrestling-style hold,” and restraining her even as she tells him several times that she “can’t breathe.” Davis’ ex-girlfriend can also be heard telling him she doesn’t need help, she wants to get away from him, and that he is “absolutely insane…and then you paint me to look insane.”

According to the court documents, Davis told fellow state troopers that his ex-girlfriend had mental health problems, and they advised him to contact county officials to obtain an order for her to be committed. Using his police email, Davis contacted the appropriate officials and provided texts from his ex threatening suicide to secure an order for her to be institutionalized.

In interviews with police after she was released, the woman said that Davis told her, “I know you’re not crazy, I’ll paint you as crazy,” prior to having her committed. The affidavit for Davis’ arrest clarifies that the texts he shared with officials “were the culmination of a larger, domestic dispute” between the two: “Taken in context, the texts revealed her frustration with Trooper Davis and his controlling behavior…not a true desire to harm herself.”

Davis was arrested on Thursday and is being held at Dauphin County Prison without bail after a district judge ruled there are no conditions Davis can meet to be released at this time, local station WGAL reported. Davis has been a member of the Pennsylvania State Police since 2015 and is currently suspended without pay. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for October 2.

The charges against Davis come as police officers in several states have faced disciplinary action in recent years for abusing their power and resources to stalk and harass women. The entire incident is a real-life horror story of how easy it is for members of law enforcement to manipulate the legal system to control their intimate partners.

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