(PHOTO AND STORY: KHQ.COM)
A veteran says he feels vindicated after he was found not guilty of disorderly conduct Wednesday.
The man was charged when he refused to take his service dog away from the VA hospital. Witnesses say he was also thrown to the ground.
Danny Ralph walked out of the federal courthouse with his dog Shadow on his arm. He says he doesn't go anywhere without her.
"She's my companion. She's what keeps me tied to this earth," Ralph said.
The Marine has had Shadow for more than five years. She helps him with PTSD.
"She does simple services for me when I'm at home she'll do it for me," Ralph said.
But last summer, when he was waiting for a prescription at the hospital, VA police told him to put his dog in the car. He'd brought her in many times before. "I couldn't give you an accurate count of how many times we've been to the VA hospital, but it's been numerous," he said.
So he refused. Then witnesses say he was put into an arm hold and injured. Now Ralph hopes his case can help others.
"I'm glad to be vindicated and I hope that this brings awareness to the public of the things that happen at the VA hospital," Ralph said, "I hope that all vets are respected."
When asked whether he'll continue to bring his dog to the hospital, Raph said of course he would.