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Aron Ralston, subject of “127 Hours,” cleared of assault

Aron Ralston CBS Denver

DENVER - A domestic violence case has been dismissed against Aron Ralston, a Colorado adventurer whose self-amputation ordeal was made into the movie “127 Hours,” reports CBS Denver.

A court spokeswoman said Monday the case was dropped at the request of the city attorney.

Ralston and his girlfriend, Vita Shannon, were booked Sunday on charges of assault and “wrongs to minors” after, police say, the two got into an altercation.

The case against Shannon is pending. Her attorney entered a not guilty plea on her behalf Monday.

Police said the "wrong to minors" charge against the pair is used when children are present during an incident but not necessarily hurt. Police documents say the couple's 8-week-old child was present at the time of the altercation. Shannon also faces additional charge of disturbing the peace.

Family members said Shannon’s mother has been caring for the child since the couple’s arrest.

Documents allege Shannon struck Ralston twice in the back of the head with her fists and that he shoved her as she was leaving her apartment. The documents say they were arguing over another child of Ralston’s.

Ralston’s attorney, Jeff Pagliuca, declined to comment.

“We’re saddened that this would happen, evolve this way,” said Ralston’s father, Larry Ralston. “We’re hopeful that things will work out.”

Larry Ralston said his son and Shannon had “a heated argument.”

“There was no physical harm to anyone,” he told CBS Denver. “There was a heated argument.”

Shannon faces a fine of up to $999 and a sentence of up to a year in jail if convicted.

Ralston cut off his forearm to free himself from a dislodged boulder in a Utah canyon in 2003.

He was “canyoneering” — making his way down a narrow canyon — at the time. After five days with little food and water, he intentionally broke his arm and then amputated it with a dull knife to escape.

He detailed his struggles in a book, “Between a Rock and Hard Place,” which was adapted into the Oscar-nominated “127 Hours.”

Ralston became a celebrity, making inspirational speeches and championing environmental causes.

He also continued his adventurous life using prosthetics he helped develop. He completed a nine-year project to scale the highest point in all 50 states and became the first person to solo climb all 59 of Colorado’s 14,000-foot peaks in winter.


  • Crimesider Staff

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