Father of ex-Tempe cop arrested twice in 3 days speaks - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

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Father of ex-Tempe cop arrested twice in 3 days speaks

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Garrett Peterson has had a drinking problem since 2011, and he had been in and out of rehab at least twice, says his father, Thomas Peterson. (Source: Yuma County Sheriff's Office) Garrett Peterson has had a drinking problem since 2011, and he had been in and out of rehab at least twice, says his father, Thomas Peterson. (Source: Yuma County Sheriff's Office)
PHOENIX (CBS5) -

When Thomas Peterson got a call from his son, Garrett Peterson, early Saturday morning he knew he was in a crisis.

"It's just a miracle no one was hurt. The whole situation is just unbelievable," said Thomas Peterson.

Garrett Peterson, a former Tempe police officer, told his father that he messed up and was in a standoff with the SWAT team on the Loop 202 Red Mountain Freeway near Alma School Road. He told his father he thought he was going to die.

"I heard the police dogs. That's how I knew it was real. He said he had his gun. I said you wouldn't want to hurt anyone they're your friends, the police. You don't want yourself to get hurt. You know, give yourself up," said Thomas Peterson.

Investigators said prior to the standoff, Garrett Peterson had made death threats against his ex-wife's new husband and their children.

Police spotted Garrett Peterson in front of his ex's home about 11 p.m. Friday. When officers tried to pull him over, he took off leading them on a pursuit at speeds of up to 120 mph.

It wasn't long after the conversation Garrett had with his father while he was barricaded in his car that he unloaded his gun and surrendered.

Garrett Peterson spent Saturday morning in jail and bonded out later that afternoon. According to court paperwork, a judge ordered the Tempe police officer under house arrest.

Garrett Peterson called his father again Monday, telling him he was leaving the state.

"He also said that he would see me in heaven. I told him I'm calling the police because I was worried about him," said Thomas Peterson.

Border Patrol agents spotted Peterson on Interstate 8 about 40 miles west of the California border.

Garrett Peterson told his father that he ran from officers a second time because he didn't want to go back to jail.

He told his father he unbuckled his seatbelt and crashed head-on into a semi tractor in an attempt to kill himself.

"We love our son. Everybody makes mistakes and the Lord just didn't want him to go, I guess," said Thomas Peterson.

Thomas Peterson told CBS 5 News his son has had a drinking problem since 2011 and that he had been in and out of rehab at least twice.

According to police records, Friday wasn't the first time Garrett Peterson had made threats against his family. CBS 5 News obtained reports that date back two years.

Police paperwork shows that Garrett Peterson's ex-wife had sole custody of their two sons.

Peterson's father said that a few months ago his son started drinking again and the ex-wife refused to let him take the boys for visitation.

The father tells us he went back to rehab and finished last month. According to Peterson's father, his son and ex-wife were still arguing over visits and that might have set him off.

According to Tempe Police Department officials, Garrett Peterson resigned Monday morning.

Garrett Peterson is currently being held in a Yuma jail on a $1 million bond. He faces seven felony charges including aggravated assault, criminal damage and unlawful flight.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved

 

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