Agents of the South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) arrested a St. George, S.C. town council member this week and charged him with misconduct in office related to the alleged harassment and intimidation of a town police officer.
According to a news release from SLED, 66-year-old Ralph A. Martino was arrested on Tueday and booked at the Dorchester county detention center.
A probable cause affidavit accompanying the warrant for his arrested noted that on June 1, 2019, Martino allegedly intervened in a traffic stop involving the police officer and Martino’s wife – who had been detained. At one point during the subsequent interaction, Martino “pushed (the officer) causing him to lose his balance,” according to the affidavit.
“After a brief struggle, (the officer) was about to detain and arrest (Martino),” the affidavit continued, adding that “while under arrest, (Martino) did make derogatory and disparaging statements.”
Among these statements? An alleged threat to fire the officer and to investigate him “and other officers with the police department.”
Martino also specifically told the officer that he would “be on your ass,” according to the affidavit.
Take a look …
As with anyone accused of committing any crime, Martino is considered innocent until proven guilty by our criminal justice system – or until such time as he may choose to enter a plea in connection with the charge filed against him.
His case will be prosecuted by the office of S.C. first circuit solicitor David Pascoe.
St. George is a town of approximately 2,100 people located in northern Dorchester county near the intersection of Interstates 26 and 95. Originally known as “George’s Station,” it was incorporated by an act of the S.C. General Assembly in 1875. It is governed by a mayor and six-member town council.
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