We have some good news to report for fans of Below Deck deckhand Ross Inia as court records indicate the felony charges against him stemming from a drunken altercation with police officers in December have been dropped by prosecutors.
Ross was scheduled for a court hearing on Thursday, at which point the prosecutor officially declared that there would be “no action taken” in the case and formal charges were not filed for either of the three counts. Ross’s case is now listed as “closed.”
UPDATE – In a bit of “bad news, good news” for Ross, prosecutors have elected to reopen the case, but both felony counts have been reduced to misdemeanors. Click the link for all the latest!
In case you missed it, Ross was arrested and charged with battery on a law enforcement officer (third-degree felony), crimes against person — harming a public servant (second-degree felony), and disorderly intoxication (second-degree misdemeanor) after an alleged drunken altercation with police in West Palm Peach, Florida on December 22.
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According to the report, there was an altercation between Ross and two other men outside a sports bar. Two uniformed officers approached and identified themselves as West Palm Beach Police Officers before attempting to break up the fight. Ross was reportedly pushed to the ground by one of the officers, but he “got up with a closed fist, ran at Det. Foe aggressively and threw an overhand right punch striking Det. Foe in the left side of his face and shoulder area.”
Ross was detained and handcuffed. The reporting officer recalls: “I could smell a strong odor of an unknown alcoholic beverage which intensified as Inia spoke.” The officer’s account continues, as does Ross’s aggression:
During my conversation, Inia had rapid mood changes, yelling and screaming back to calm, then nodded off due to his intoxication level. While under arrest, Inia told Officer Dillard he would harm him and his family multiple times on BWC and advised “he messed with the wrong one.” It shall also be noted Inia made multiple similar threats towards my family while completing paperwork.
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Ross getting off completely Scot free comes as a bit of a surprise given the fact that he allegedly swung at, and struck, a police officer in the face before later threatening officers and their families! It mentions in the police report that the incident and the arrest were captured on police body cams, so I am wondering if perhaps there was something a little revealing in those videos? (I’m kind of surprised they haven’t been released yet.)
His case is eerily similar to The Real Housewives of New York City star Luann de Lesseps’ arrest in the same county almost exactly one year prior. Luann managed to get a plea deal in her case to avoid a felony conviction, but she still pled guilty to three misdemeanors and got probation, community service, and more restrictions as a sentence.
This is, of course, really great news for Ross! I imagine that any sort of conviction, especially a felony, would be bad for his international career. (Ross is from New Zealand.)
Ross has yet to address the charges being dropped on social media. His most recent posts were a series of Instagram Live videos with Below Deck co-star Tyler Rowland, who was cooking up a meal aboard a boat in Fort Lauderdale.