Aron Ralston, 127 Hours inspiration: Domestic violence charges dismissed

Update: At a hearing this afternoon, charges were dismissed against Aron Ralston in relation to his arrest Saturday night. The incident reportedly revolved around Vita Shannon, identified as Ralston's girlfriend. She's said to have hit him twice in the head, while he allegedly shoved her while leaving her apartment. Like Ralston, she was arrested on suspicion of assault and wrongs to minors (because their eight-week-old child was present). However, no charges were pursued against her, either, at the request of the city attorney. See Shannon's pic below, followed by earlier coverage. Original post, 6:46 a.m.: Domestic violence arrests are so common, unfortunately, that they don't tend to make headlines unless the people involved have a certain degree of notoriety -- and that's certainly the case with Aron Ralston.

The 38-year-old Ralston became an international celebrity (and the centerpiece of the Academy Award-nominated movie 127 Hours) after amputating his own arm, which became trapped during a 2003 climbing accident. His next appearance, however, will be in court: He's due there today in regard to a bust Saturday night.

Ralston has previously been featured in this space for happier reasons. Back in November 2010, he introduced 127 Hours, starring James Franco as Ralston, at the Starz Denver Film Festival. As we wrote at the time, "Ralston half-apologized for being a human spoiler -- yes, he confessed, he did cut off his own arm -- before joking that he planned to reenact the film in front of the screen, Rocky Horror Picture Show-style, complete with fake blood. (That definitely would have been worth the price of admission.)"

Ralston subsequently suggested that people remain in their seats through the amputation scene, rather than staggering toward the aisle and collapsing, thereby endangering the rest of the audience -- and his joke took on added relevance when a man reportedly passed out during the screening.

We also featured Ralston in a 2011 post after he won $125,000 for the Wilderness Workshop charity on an NBC game show called Minute to Win It.

Cut to Saturday night at 642 Corona Street, an area captured in the following interactive graphic; if you have problems seeing the image, click "View Larger Map."

View Larger Map

Thus far, we don't know much about the particulars of what took place at this address. But as noted by the Denver Post, Ralston was taken into custody on one count apiece of assault and wrongs to minors.

The house is said to belong to Vita Shannon, 38, who was also arrested on the same charges -- typical in domestic violence situations.

As noted by the Daily Mail, Ralston was previously married to someone else -- Jessica Trusty, who he met a few years after his climbing accident. Trusty is the mother of his son, Leo, and accompanied Ralston at the Los Angeles premier of 127 Hours, as seen in the following video:

Thus far, Ralston has made no public comments about the arrest. But he's expected to make be in Denver court later today.

Look below to see a larger version of Ralston's booking photo and a clip he filmed of himself while trapped in 2003.

Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.

More from our Television & Film archive circa November 2010: "Starz Denver Film Festival: James Franco, Aron Ralston make 127 Hours go by just like that."

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts

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