State Police Officer Arrested For Choking Repo Man

May 2, 2014

A New Mexico State Police officer is facing charges after authorities say he choked a man attempting to repossess his vehicle, then tried to run from other officers.

Los Lunas police said Charles Vernier was arrested Thursday at an apartment complex after officers found him restraining a tow truck operator in a chokehold. Vernier was on leave from the police force at the time of the incident.

Authorities say Los Lunas officers ordered Vernier to release the man. Vernier fled and was taken into custody when he slipped and fell.

He was arrested and charged with aggravated battery and interference with a police officer.

State Police Chief Pete Kassetas said in a statement that an "internal inquiry" will be launched into the arrest.

It's not known if Vernier had an attorney.

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