127 Hours Hiker Walks, Gal Charged With Assault

Aron Ralston won't face charge domestic assault charge

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 9, 2013 7:00 PM CST

(Newser) – America's most famous one-armed hiker skirted an assault charge today but his girlfriend wasn't quite so lucky, the Denver Post reports. Ralston and girlfriend Vita Shannon, both 38, were arrested Saturday night in Denver and each charged with one count of assault and one count of wrongs to minors. A judge dismissed charges against Ralston, while Shannon pleaded not guilty to both charges and a new charge of disturbing the peace. She could spend up to a year in prison and pay $999 for each charge if convicted, a prosecutor said.

According to police, Ralston said they argued and Shannon hit him with her fists twice in the back of the head; Shannon contends Ralston shoved her shoulder as he left her house. Their 2-month-old daughter was present, which explains the "wrongs to minors" charge—which is leveled when children are there but unhurt in a domestic incident. "This is just two people trying to work out a difficult relationship," said Ralston's father. Ralston's experience trapped in a Utah canyon—and his teeth-gritting decision to escape by severing his own arm—was dramatized in the film 127 Hours.

Aron Ralston and Vita Shannon, in photos provided by the Denver Police.
Aron Ralston and Vita Shannon, in photos provided by the Denver Police.   (Associated Press)
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