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Tempe officer Garrett Peterson busted in second pursuit

Posted at 4:56 PM, Dec 16, 2013
and last updated 2014-04-28 21:21:01-04

A Tempe police officer is back in custody after his second high speed chase and arrest in three days.

Tempe police say 30-year-old Garrett Michael Peterson resigned Monday morning when he was contacted about the start of an internal investigation.

The investigation began after Peterson was arrested early Saturday on suspicion of threatening his ex-wife in Gilbert and then leading Gilbert police officers on a high-speed chase while allegedly driving intoxicated.

On Monday, he appeared in court on charges of felony endangerment, threatening and intimidating, driving under the influence, felony flight and reckless driving. He posted $10,000 bond and was placed on house arrest.

That afternoon, police said Peterson drove the wrong way during a chase on Interstate 8 before he was involved in a head-on collision with a tractor-trailer rig.

Peterson reportedly suffered minor head injuries in the crash, according to Carrick R. Cook, a spokesman for the Arizona Department of Public Safety.

The second chase began in southwestern Arizona when Border Patrol agents noticed and began to follow a vehicle that Gilbert police had alerted law enforcement agencies it was looking for.

DPS officers tried to stop the vehicle, but it drove away at speeds that reached approximately 90 mph.

Police closed a portion of I-8 in Yuma County during the chase and rerouted traffic to another highway.

"We believe that impairment was a factor in it," Cook said. "This is an unfortunate situation that could have been a lot worse."

Peterson, who didn't have a lawyer when he appeared in court Monday, had been a Tempe police officer since 2007.

Sgt. Jesse Sanger, a Gilbert police spokesman, said Peterson and ex-wife were divorced in 2008.