A Sheridan police officer has been suspended pending an investigation into the attack for allegedly putting a shopkeeper in a chokehold.
An arrest warrant was issued last week for 50-year-old Sean Ralph, who has been with the department for three years. Ralph handed himself over to the authorities on Tuesday night. According to the police department, he was arrested, bonded and released.
According to the arrest affidavit, on September 3, Ralph allegedly used a chokehold on a shopkeeper who spit in the officer’s face. The incident took place outside the 7-Eleven store in the 3400 block of South Federal Boulevard.
The affidavit said the woman was in custody and was handcuffed when she attempted to spit on a store employee. Instead, the suspect spat in Ralph’s face, which was between the woman and the employee. Ralph then grabbed the suspect by the neck, pushed his head back and pushed him back to the ground.
“Once upon a time, Ground Officer Ralph’s body camera captured (the suspect’s) face while his hand was around his neck,” the affidavit said. The woman is “winning, and it seems as if she is suffocating or her head is hitting the ground.”
Other officers were at the spot and gave statements under investigation. Suspect was taken to hospital, treated, released and arrested on suspicion of shop theft. The affidavit states that the use of chokeholds is in violation of Sheridan police policy.
The police released a written statement on the incident on Wednesday.
Chief Jeffrey Martinez said in the statement, “I was concerned by this incident and immediately launched an investigation.” “We believe in the integrity of both the criminal and administrative process and will withhold judgment until both are completed.”
The Arapaho County District Attorney’s Office has reviewed the incident and charged Ralph with attempted second-degree assault — strangulation, heat of passion — a Class 6 felony. He is to appear in court on September 28.