Granger Chief Faces Felony Charges
Granger, WA - Granger Police Chief, Robert Perales is currently on administrative leave, he was placed on administrative leave on Monday, following new information that the Yakima County Prosecuting Attorney's office filed two felony charges against him.
According to court documents, the charges stem from incidents involving his ex-girlfriend that happened in May 2015.
The documents say, Perales repeatedly contacted his ex-girlfriend and witness testimony says that he was seen stopping by her home and workplace while he was on-duty. Perales and his ex-girlfriend had broken up in December 2014 following an eight year relationship and the documents state that Perales was upset over finding out that his ex-girlfriend was in a new relationship.
Perales is accused of grabbing his ex-girlfriend in a forceful manner and preventing her from leaving her workplace by blocking in her car with his police vehicle.
The charges filed against him are: one count of felony stalking domestic violence and one count of first degree perjury.
The perjury charge comes from Perales' June 2015 court appearance, where he testified regarding his relationship and interactions with his ex-girlfriend, to determine whether or not a court order prohibiting Perales from contacting her was necessary. According to the court documents, Perales falsely testified, as to his whereabouts during the times/dates in question. Every police vehicle has a tracking device, and because Perales was in his police vehicle and the GPS tracker, investigators were able to place him at his ex-girlfriends home and workplace during those times in question.
"I was quite shocked on Monday when I received a call from our city attorney and the prosecutor suggested that there were some things that were serious enough to be considered about our existing Chief Robert Perales, that I should consider taking action for the safety of the city and Perales," said Granger Mayor Charles Wheaton today.
Since placing Perales on leave, Mayor Wheaton tells NBC Right Now that Sgt. David Leary has been appointed to be the Interim Police Chief.
Perales is expected to appear in Yakima County Superior Court on February 29th, and if he's convicted of both charges he could face up to 20 years in prison.