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Friday, July 6, 2007

[NM] Officer Barela's aggravated battery charges expanded

News Excerpts from June:
A Las Cruces Police officer charged with aggravated battery against a household member and false imprisonment has bonded out of jail... Loren Barela was charged for allegedly grabbing the hair of his girlfriend of five years and pushing her face into a toilet June 1... [She said] Barela put his hands on her neck and squeezed so that she could not scream. She said he struck her several times on her body and left her with bruises. She reported that he told her "she did not deserve to live" and that she feared for her life. The girlfriend claimed she tried to leave their apartment but he blocked the door and would not allow her to leave and threw her cell phone so she could not call police...

News from this week:
.... Barela was originally charged with aggravated battery against a household member and false imprisonment. The grand jury added charges of aggravated battery against a household member with a deadly weapon, interference with communications, two counts of battery against a household member, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. "The allegation is he pointed a pistol at his girlfriend," Doña Ana County Assistant District Attorney James Dickens said. He added that the alleged controlled substance was steroids... Police spokesman Dan Trujillo said Barela left the force June 12... He could not say if Barela was fired or resigned...

(Which means there will be no finding from an internal investigation on his police career record and he may be eligible for another law enforcement position.)

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