“Phila[delphia Police] Officer Admits Lie in Saying He Was Shot”

From the Philadelphia Inquirer:

[Sgt. Robert] Ralston, 46, said he had been shot in West Philadelphia by a black man who pointed a revolver at his head, then grazed him in the shoulder when Ralston knocked the gun away. He said he had returned fire and hit the man in the chest, but no gunshot victim turned up at a hospital….

Over the next few weeks, as police searched the scene and the neighborhood for clues, Ralston’s tale continued to unravel. Gunpowder residue found on Ralston’s shirt matched the ammunition in his own service weapon and suggested he was shot at point-blank range. Ralston made mistakes when describing the layout of the area where the shooting took place. And though Ralston was adamant he had shot the assailant, no blood was found at the scene.

[More than a month after the alleged shooting], after four hours of questioning by detectives at Police Headquarters, Ralston admitted he had shot himself, fabricated the story, and made the false report….

Ralston, a married father of five and a 21-year veteran of the department, was suspended Tuesday with intent to dismiss. He will be off the force officially in a month, and his badge number will be retired, so no officer will ever share the number with him.

Ralston will not face criminal charges because he was offered immunity from prosecution in exchange for his confession. That means he will most likely receive his pension [of about $24,000 annually], [Police Commissioner Charles H.] Ramsey said.

“It was the only way we could tie this up,” Ramsey said of the arrangement….

Some of [the pension] may be used to recoup the expense of the massive manhunt sparked by his lies, Ramsey said….

Thanks to Victor Steinbok for the pointer.

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