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Assault case dropped against Ralston, man trapped in Utah canyon

Published December 10, 2013 11:30 am
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Charges against adventurer Aron Ralston, who was jailed Sunday after a domestic dispute, have been dismissed at the request of the Denver city attorney.

"It is my understanding that the city attorney decided there was not a case," his father Larry Ralston said outside the Denver courtroom where Aron Ralston and his girlfriend, Vita Shannon, were to appear Monday afternoon.

Denver police arrested both Ralston and Shannon, at 642 Corona St. late Saturday night. Shannon owns the single-family home, according to property records.

Denver police reports released Monday show Ralston and Shannon, both 38, each faced one count of assault and one count of wrongs to minors.

Shannon pleaded not guilty to the to original charges and one charge of disturbing the peace that was added during the hearing Monday. Her bond was set at $550. She is scheduled to appear in court again on Friday.

Ralston told police that Shannon hit him twice in the back of the head with fists during an argument over Ralston's other child, a boy. Shannon told police Ralston shoved her on the shoulder as he left her home, according to the reports. Police noted that the couple's infant daughter was present during the fight.

Both Shannon and Ralston remain in custody while paperwork is processed.

Aron Ralston's father said Monday morning that he is confident his son didn't hit Shannon or their daughter.

"There apparently was some type of heated argument, police got involved, charges and counter charges were filed. This is just two people trying to work out a difficult relationship," Larry Ralston said.

Larry Ralston said the couple went out on Saturday night and he watched the child. "There is, overall, a positive relationship between the two."

After the hearing Monday, Larry Ralston said his son and Shannon are "two good parents who care a lot about their young daughter."

Ralston, whose harrowing experience trapped in a southwest Utah canyon was made into the 2010 movie "127 Hours," and Shannon are scheduled to appear in court on Monday afternoon.

In April 2003, Ralston was descending a slot canyon when a boulder he was climbing on dislodged, crushing and trapping his right hand against the canyon wall.

After five days, he broke his radius and ulna bones and amputated the limb with a small knife included on his multitool.

Ralston is scheduled to appear as the featured speaker Dec. 28 at Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort's annual Summit $250 per plate Gala in Utah. Snowbird Vice President of Resort Operations Dave Fields said Monday that while the resort would be having a conversation with Ralston in the next few days, he remains the speaker at this time.

Tom McGhee: 303-954-1671, tmcghee@denverpost.com or twitter.com/dpmcghee






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