SHERIDAN, Colo. (CBS4) – New video shows the moment a Sheridan police officer grabbed a handcuffed woman by the neck. The officer, Shawn Ralph, has been charged with felony second-degree assault after he allegedly choked a shoplifting suspect who he said spit in his eye.

Shawn Ralph

(credit: CBS)

The incident took place Sept. 3 at a 7-Eleven store at 3495 South Federal Boulevard, according to court documents obtained by CBS4.

Ralph and other officers say they approached a woman, Benni Montano, suspicious that she had shoplifted items from the convenience store. The store owner said Montano had stolen several items from the store.

(credit: Sheridan Police)

She was handcuffed but officers said she was resistant and attempted to spit on the store owner, but her saliva allegedly hit Ralph in the eye.

(credit: Sheridan Police)

According to a statement, Ralph said, “To prevent continuous spitting and contamination, I reached for Benni’s mouth with my gloved hand. Benni moved backward as I tried to cover her mouth, making my hand slip from her mouth and onto her chin.”

In the video, another officer is seen removing Ralph’s hand from the woman’s neck.