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Updated Apr 28, 2014 - 8:08 pm

Former Tempe police officer found dead in Yuma County jail

YUMA, Ariz. — Authorities say a former Tempe police officer being held in
a Yuma jail has been found dead in his cell.

Yuma County Sheriff’s officials say detention officers in the county Adult
Detention Center discovered 31-year-old Garrett Michael Peterson dead early
Monday.

Yuma County sheriff’s officials said guards in the county Adult Detention
Center discovered Garrett Michael Peterson dead early Monday.

They said Peterson, 31, was the only occupant of the cell and the cause of
death was under investigation.

It wasn’t immediately clear Monday night if Peterson had an attorney.

The Chandler resident resigned from the Tempe Police Department last December
after being arrested twice in a three-day span. He had been with the force since
May 2007.

Peterson first was arrested Dec. 14 on suspicion of threatening his ex-wife and
her new husband in Gilbert and then leading police on a freeway chase that
topped 120 mph. Authorities say he was intoxicated.

Peterson was arrested on suspicion of felony endangerment, threatening and
intimidating, DUI, felony flight and reckless driving.

He posted a $10,000 bond on Dec. 16, resigned from his officer job and was
supposed to sign up for house arrest and electronic monitoring.

Instead, authorities say he was found driving the wrong way on a southern
Arizona freeway while impaired.

Arizona Department of Public Safety officers on Interstate 8 chased Peterson,
who reached speeds of 90 mph before he crashed into a tractor-trailer.

Peterson suffered minor head injuries in the collision. Yuma authorities said
he was jailed on a $1 million bond on suspicion of endangerment, aggravated
assault with a deadly weapon and unlawful flight.

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