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Granger police chief pleads not guilty to criminal charges

Chief Robert Perales appears in Yakima County Court

YAKIMA COUNTY, Wash. -- A man with a career of making arrests is now facing his own charges.

Chief Robert Perales is accused of stalking his ex-girlfriend and lying on the stand.

Perales pleaded not guilty Monday to felony stalking and perjury charges.

"Felony charges are always serious, and they're taken very seriously," Perales's defense attorney Bill Pickett said.

Last May, Perales was served a civil anti-harassment order from his ex-girlfriend.

Court papers say Perales repeatedly contacted his ex at her job after they broke up.

She told police he blocked her from leaving the parking lot with his car. Perales denied blocking her in to deputies.

Court papers say Perales also contacted her in person several times despite her telling him to leave.

"Everyone is entitled to a presumption of innocence in this country, and until that trial takes place people need to reserve judgement," Pickett said.

While on trial for the civil case, Perales told the court he did not use his patrol car to visit his ex against her wishes.

But investigators say a tracking device in the police car shows he did.

That's where the perjury charge comes in.

"We'll prepare the case for trial and it'll be presented appropriately to the decent folks of Yakima for their deliberation," Perales said.

Court papers say Perales told deputies his relationship with the victim is "on and off again with three significant breakups."

Court papers say he told deputies he thought they were still in a relationship, even though she didn't speak to him or appear happy to see him.

Perales has turned in his guns and is on administrative leave with the city.

Menke Jackson Beyer, LLP, represents the City of Granger. The law firm would not comment on the case.

Calls to the Yakima County prosecutor were not returned in time for broadcast.

Perales will appear in court again in May.

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