Ralph Ennis

FRONT ROYAL — The widow of the man who died days after a physical altercation with Warren County Sheriff’s Office deputies during a traffic stop wants to know what happened that night.

“I want a thorough and honest investigation. I want to know what happened,” Linda Ennis said this week.

Ralph Ennis, 77, died on April 15 under the care of Blue Ridge Hospice, of Winchester, according to the Warren County Sheriff’s Office. An investigation into the use of force by sheriff’s deputies during the April 2 traffic stop is underway.

Ralph Ennis was a bricklayer working in Northern Virginia in 2004 when he met Linda, who was living in Stephens City and working at an architectural firm in Manassas.

They married in 2006 and moved to Breezewood, Pennsylvania, in 2010, to be closer to Linda’s family, but Ralph wanted to move back to Virginia, where he still maintained his driver’s license and where the titles to his vehicles were held.

Ralph would create Christmas ornaments, tiny birdhouses and wooden furniture to sell at events, Linda said.

A sportsman who hunted buffalo in South Dakota and bowled, Ralph was “just an all around good person,” Linda said.

Ralph would visit Front Royal often, where he was friends with Ralph Waller, owner of Main Street Pawn, said Waller’s wife, Sue.

Ralph was gentle and would “give you the shirt off his back,” Sue Waller said.

He and the Wallers would attend Heritage Church on Chester Street in Front Royal regularly, Sue Waller said.

“He looked forward to it all the time,” Sue Waller said.

A missing person’s Silver Alert was issued in March when he was heading to Front Royal because Linda wanted him off the road since he was known to get lost while driving as he got older age.

On the way to Eastern Shore one time, where he was from, he got lost in Frederick, Maryland, for two days.

“He had days where he seemed fine, and then there were days that he was so confused,” Linda said.

One time when Linda asked Ralph to bring her a blanket, he brought her a stack of towels and a sweater.

Ralph was staying in a motel in Front Royal for about two weeks before the April 2 traffic stop, Linda said. He was returning there the night he was stopped by the sheriff’s deputies, who said he was speeding and driving erratically.

A search on Virginia’s online criminal court case system revealed no driving violations for Ralph Carlton Ennis.

In Pennsylvania, he was found guilty of traffic offenses from a crash in January when he pulled out of a parking lot and hit a passing car, Linda said, adding that the minor crash caused no injuries.

The crash did prompt her to ask Pennsylvania State Police to revoke her husband’s driving privileges, but she was told nothing could be done about it, she said.

“He thought he was fine,” Linda said.

Contact Charles Paullin at cpaullin@nvdaily.com

(1) comment


What happened is the Warren County Sheriff’s Office MURDERED this poor gentleman. These deputies should all go to prison and the Sheriff fired at a minimum. Giving a beat down to a senior citizen who was obviously confused? BIG TOUGH GUYS you have there Mark! You must be so proud of your death squad.. Speeding in Warren county = death. What are you going to do next Mark, have your deputies just shoot speeders on the spot? You need to resign immediately Mark..

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