Tempe Cop Arrested After High-Speed Chase, Posts Bond, Then Leads Cops on Another Chase

A Tempe police officer was arrested this weekend after allegedly driving drunk at more than 120 mph in a bid to outrun on-duty officers.

Then, authorities say, Tempe Police Officer Garrett Peterson posted $10,000 bond and led law enforcement on another high-speed chase, this time near Yuma.

According to court documents obtained by New Times, Peterson's ex-wife called Gilbert police Friday night claiming that Peterson sent text messages to her new husband saying he was coming over with "guns blazing" to kill him.

Peterson also called the new husband -- in a call the new husband recorded -- and said he was "going to kill you and your whole fucking family," documents state.

The reporting officer writes that Peterson's "speech was slurred, thoughts disjointed, and he was yelling."

An officer beat Peterson to the ex-wife's house and tried to pull over Peterson when he showed up around 11:30 p.m. According to the documents, Peterson tried to run, at one point heading onto the Loop 202, reaching speeds "in excess of 120 mph."

Peterson, who had an unidentified female passenger in the car this entire time, was eventually stopped, and he pulled out a weapon, creating a barricade situation. The female passenger was able to get out of the car unhurt, and Peterson finally surrendered around 12:45 a.m. According to court documents, his blood-alcohol level was 0.25, which is more than three times the legal limit.

By Saturday afternoon, a judge had set Peterson's bond at $10,000, and the bond conditions included Peterson being on house arrest.

Tempe Police Sergeant Michael Pooley says Tempe officers were able to contact Peterson by phone yesterday to start an internal investigation, and Peterson resigned during that. Peterson had been a patrol officer since May 2007.

Also yesterday, Pooley says in an e-mail, Peterson "was involved in another criminal investigation being investigated by the Gilbert Police Department which led to an 'Attempt to Locate' to statewide agencies, including Border Patrol and DPS."

Border Patrol agents had located Peterson's car, and when agents tried to pull him over, Peterson didn't stop for them either. Pooley says Peterson was arrested again after leading Border Patrol and DPS on a chase on Interstate 8 near Yuma.

Since Peterson's already out on bond, he won't be given the opportunity to post bond again.

Before yesterday, Peterson already was facing seven charges, including two felonies.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley