Below Deck deckhand Ross Inia was arrested and charged with multiple felonies after an alleged drunken altercation with police in West Palm Peach, Florida on December 22.
When we first reported on his arrest, there was very little information explaining why Ross was facing such serious charges. But, according to the arrest report released by WPBPD, Ross punched an officer in the face before threatening the families of the arresting officers — all of which was captured on multiple body cams.
The report states that 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.
The police report also notes that there were photos taken of Detective Foe’s injury and that all of the officers were wearing body cams throughout the incident and arrest.
As a result of his attack and threats, Ross was charged with the following:
Battery on a law enforcement officer (third-degree felony)
Crimes against person — harming a public servant (second-degree felony)
Disorderly intoxication (second-degree misdemeanor)
Ross would later post a bond amount of $15,500 and his next hearing is scheduled for January 24.
The day after Christmas, Ross returned to Instagram and shared a photo as he talked about wanting to return to his home in New Zealand. “A trip back home is just what the heart needs,” he captioned the photo. “I hope everyone had a safe and lovely holiday with friends and family.” He added this string of hash tags: #lookingback #memories #love #home #happyholidays #whakarewarewavillage #belowdeck #bravotv
On the same day, Ross posted photos enjoying Christmas with his son Kai, who was dressed as Jack Sparrow:
View this post on Instagram
How many of you were up all night putting toys together? All worth it the next day for sure!!?? hope everyone had an amazing christmas. thank you for all the kind words sent my way. It’s been a hell of a weekend with many speculations, it’s not the time to speak about it, but I do appreciate all the love and support! Have a wonderful rest of your holiday ?? ##christmas #christmaseve #lifeofadad #piratesofthecaribbean #playmobil #powerrangers #belowdeck #bravotv
Ross’s case seems eerily similar to that of Real Housewives of New York City star Luann de Lesseps, who was arrested in Palm Beach for a drunken altercation at the tail end of 2017. Despite allegedly slamming an officer’s head in a hotel bathroom door and berating officers throughout the arrest process, Luann was able to swing a sweet plea deal that allowed her to avoid a felony conviction as well as avoid serving any additional jail time.
Luann probably had a more sizable budget for her legal defense, however, so Ross may not be as lucky. And Ross has to deal with the added issue of how a felony conviction might impact his ability to work internationally and enter the United States.
We’ll have a much clearer picture of just how bad things are for Ross when the body cam footage is inevitably released by TMZ or Radar Online in the coming weeks. (Just like with Luann and Kate Chastain.)
UPDATE – Ross eventually pleaded guilty to a single misdemeanor charge of disorderly intoxication. Click the link for all the details on his sentencing!