A Pennsylvania woman was sent to a mental health facility after her ex-boyfriend from state police showed her suicidal text messages to her — but the messages were taken out of context, according to a criminal complaint.
According to an affidavit, Ronald Keith Davis, 37, involuntarily committed Michelle Perfanov for five days after he claimed she made suicide threats.
The trooper, who is married with children, decided to end their four-month relationship after an argument.
After obtaining an involuntary bond order, he tracked down the woman and was caught on video repeatedly pushing her to the ground.
Perfanov appeared to have “really no understanding as to why she was being restrained,” the affidavit said.
He successfully obtained an involuntary commitment order and tracked down the woman to arrest her
Davis, who is married with children, showed text messages from other soldiers in which his mistress, Michelle Perfanov, threatened suicide
On August 21, Davis arrived at the Troop H – Lykens station in Washington Township, “looking for help with an issue that was going on with his former girlfriend.”
He told other troopers that Perfanov was “acting erratically” and told her not to retrieve her belongings from a trailer on his property.
Davis referred to text messages, including one that read, “My mental health doesn’t matter, I’m a useless, old, stupid, uneducated piece of shit.”
Pennsylvania State Trooper Ronald Davis, 37, was charged with false imprisonment after having his ex-girlfriend of four months committed to a mental health facility
He used others reading “If I have to die here, so be it” and “I think I’m going to drive off a cliff” as evidence that the woman wanted to commit suicide.
Another message, littered with spelling mistakes, read: ‘Go out and style. I don’t even have any clothes you’re helping them take hostage. Oh well, I’ll just do it in style, naked and have a beautiful life.’
After obtaining the form, he followed Perfanov to a wooded area and attempted to put her in his car, but police arrived and took him into custody. Perfanov was taken to Lehigh Valley Hospital-Schuylkill for evaluation after her injuries were documented.
One of the officers contacted the hospital on August 23 to verify that the involuntary mental health commitment had been honored.
The attending physician confirmed that Perfanov was detained for “liability purposes,” including Davis as a state trooper and the content of the text conversations.
After her release on August 26, Perfanov was formally interviewed by police.
She described the four-month entanglement as one colored by “different ideological opinions and differences in roles within relationships.”
She said Davis repeatedly “made statements threatening to portray her as crazy.” This included “I know you’re not crazy, I’ll paint you crazy” and “I know the law.”
She cited recent examples of their power imbalance, including Davis turning off the power to the RV where she lived and preventing access to her personal belongings.
The officer was seen holding the woman ‘wrestling style’, who appeared to have no idea why she was being held down
Perfanov suffered injuries to her right side, as well as bruises to her left knee and lower leg. After her injuries were documented, she was hospitalized for five days
Once released, she sat down with police for an interview and opened up about her relationship with Davis, who “failed to provide full context” of her text messages.
As the relationship began to fall apart, Perfanov made statements about starting a new life in a city and “felt a confrontation was building” as Davis “needed to maintain power and control,” according to the complaint.
Text messages from August 19 showed the couple constantly bickering. A conversation turned into an argument in which Davis appeared to be jealous of Perfanov’s “previous intimate relationship with a man.”
The soldier declared that their relationship was over, saying, “You fight with me about everything. You’re done’ and ‘Now get out of my house.’
The argument continued and returned to a conversation the next day, as Perfanov discussed her resume and job search. However, Davis “continued to make disparaging comments,” including comments about drug testing and how the woman was undeployable.
In other messages, Perfanov described being locked out of her trailer and lacking access to “hygiene, livelihood and living comfort,” the affidavit said.
She described Davis as “holding her things hostage.”
The woman also told police that she simply made the suicide threats to provoke a response from Davis, but never intended to kill herself. The statement showed that the police found her statements credible.
“After reviewing the text messages, your associates were unable to identify any suicidal or homicidal threats or ideas,” the document said. “Perfanov’s conversations seemed hypothetical in nature.”
Police alleged Davis “failed to provide the full context of those messages” when he attempted to have the woman committed.
“In fact, the text messages were the culmination of a larger, domestic dispute between him and the victim,” the affidavit said.
“Put into context, the lyrics revealed her frustration with Trooper Davis and his controlling behavior (and her desire to end the relationship), and not a genuine desire to harm herself.”
Davis was charged with strangulation, unlawful restraint, false imprisonment, simple assault, recklessly endangering another person and official oppression. He was suspended without pay after charges were filed.