Best Waives Hearing in Strangulation Case

CLEARFIELD – A Woodland man has been accused of assaulting a woman earlier this month in Bradford Township.

Ralph C. Best, 57, has been charged by Trooper Emerson Miller of the Clearfield-based state police with felony strangulation, misdemeanor simple assault and summary harassment.

Best waived his right to a preliminary hearing Wednesday during centralized court at the Clearfield County Jail. Bail has been set at $50,000.

According to the affidavit of probable cause, at 7:18 a.m. Aug. 4, state police were contacted by the Clearfield Penn Highlands Hospital, which had a female patient with bruises all over.

In a written statement, the female said the evening prior, she and Best were on their way home from dinner and drinks, at which point they engaged in a verbal confrontation.

She said Best “slammed” on the brakes, causing her to strike her forehead off of the windshield. Once outside his Woodland residence, she said he threw her on the driveway.

The couple went inside and he threw her on the floor in the kitchen, then allegedly began choking her.  Both went upstairs to the bathroom, where she said he threw her into the bathtub.

After this, Best took her into the bedroom and she told him about her injuries. He reportedly refused to take her to the hospital, saying he hoped she laid there and died.

The morning of Aug. 4, the female said she convinced Best to take her to the hospital. Once she was admitted, Best fled on foot to avoid apprehension, according to the affidavit.

Best was later taken into custody in Clearfield Borough, state police said.

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