Domestic violence case dismissed against ‘127 Hours' adventurer

Reuters News
Posted: Dec 09, 2013 5:21 PM
Domestic violence case dismissed against ‘127 Hours' adventurer

By Keith Coffman

DENVER (Reuters) - Prosecutors dismissed a domestic violence case on Monday against Aron Ralston, whose harrowing tale of amputating his own forearm after he became trapped in a Utah canyon became a best-selling book and later a Hollywood film.

Charges against Ralston's girlfriend remain intact.

Ralston and Vita Shannon, both 38, were arrested on Saturday after an argument about Ralston's child with another woman turned physical, according to a probable cause statement filed by a Denver police officer in support of the arrests.

The pair was cited for assault and "wrongs to minors," because the couple's two-month-old infant was present during the altercation, according to the probable cause statement.

The case against Ralston was dismissed by prosecutors as the pair appeared for an advisement hearing on Monday afternoon, said Vince DiCroce, spokesman for the city attorney's office. Shannon entered a not guilty plea and is due back in court later this month.

Ralston accused Shannon of punching him twice in the back of the head "with fists" as he left her Denver home. She told police that Ralston "shoved her on the shoulder" during the dustup, according to the statement.

Ralston made headlines in 2003 after he cut off his right forearm with a small knife after a dislodged boulder trapped him for five days in a remote canyon in southeast Utah where he was canyoneering alone.

After freeing himself, he rappelled out of the canyon and hiked until he encountered a vacationing family who summoned authorities. He later wrote a book about his ordeal, titled "Between a Rock and a Hard Place."

In 2010, the book was made into the Hollywood movie "127 Hours," starring James Franco as Ralston. The movie garnered six Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture.

Because in suspected domestic violence cases the accused must appear in court before a judge can set bond, both Ralston and Shannon spent the weekend in the Denver County jail.

(This version of the story corrects third paragraph, to show that argument was about Ralston's child with another woman, not an argument with another woman)

(Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Leslie Adler)