FORT COLLINS, Colo. — A Fort Collins Police officer who is accused of headbutting and punching a another woman was arrested on domestic violence charges, according to an affidavit for her arrest from the Larimer County Sheriff's Office (LCSO).
Around 11:20 p.m. May 29, Fort Collins Police Services (FCPS) said, it was made aware of an incident involving Valeri Pedraza, who has been an officer with the department since 2019.
She was off duty at the time of the incident. Due to her employment, FCPS said they asked LCSO to investigate even though the incident happened within city limits.
According to an arrest affidavit, the victim reported that she was arguing with Pedraza and that during the argument, Pedraza intended to destroy or damage security cameras outside the home with a large metal rod.
She reported that she attempted to calm Pedraza down and reason with her and while doing so was "headbutted" by Pedraza, the affidavit says. That resulted in the victim having a bloody nose.
The two separated and a friend came to the house to pick up the victim to take away from the situation, the affidavit says. The victim reported that when that friend arrived there was arguing between that friend and Pedraza. She reported she saw Pedraza "lunge" at their friend and she attempted to separate them, the affidavit says.
When she did, the victim said Pedraza punched her in the face, the affidavit says. According to the document, the victim had "mild swelling" which was consistent with the "headbutt" she described and a cut on her lip, which was consistent with her description of being punched.
Footage from an exterior security camera showed the victim being headbutted, the affidavit says.
Pedraza spoke with investigators and described similar events of the initial argument and efforts to destroy the security cameras, the affidavit says.
However, her description of other events were "significantly different" than was security camera footage showed happened. Pedraza claimed, according to the affidavit, that she was choked by the victim and headbutted her in self-defense and then punched the victim twice.
Footage from an exterior security camera showed the victim being headbutted, the affidavit says. It did not show Pedraza being choked or "other events" Pedraza reported happened.
LCSO deputies arrested Pedraza, and she was booked into the Larimer County Jail on charges of third-degree assault and domestic violence.
Any time a person is arrested for domestic violence in Larimer County, the court issues a protection order limiting contact with the victim, FCPS said.
A day after the incident, on Monday, LCSO learned Pedraza made several phone communications to the victim, which violated that order.
Pedraza was then arrested a second time for violation of a protection order and violation of bail bond conditions.
“Public trust demands integrity, transparency, and accountability. That’s why our patrol supervisor called on our neighboring agency to handle this call, and it’s why we’re proactively sharing the facts with our community,” FCPS Chief Jeff Swoboda said. “The investigation will dictate any professional and legal consequences. As an agency, we stand on the side of truth and justice.”
Pedraza has been placed on administrative leave pending the results of the criminal and internal affairs investigations.
Below is a list of resources for victims and survivors experiencing domestic violence.
- Crisis Center (303)-688-1094 /Crisis Line (303)-688-8484
- Crossroads Safehouse
- Family Tree (303)422-2133 / Crisis Line (303)-420-6752
- Gateway Domestic Violence Services (303)-343-1856/ Crisis Line (303)-343-1851
- SafeHouse Denver (303)-318-9959/ Crisis Line (303)-318-9989
- Rose Andom Center (720)-337-4400
- Project SafeGuard and Legal Advocacy
- Servicios de la Raza (303)-458-5851
- The Initiative (303)-839-5510
- National Domestic Violence Hotline 1(800)-799-7233/ TTY 1(800)-787-3324
- DOVE TTY/Voice (303)-831-7932/ Crisis Line (303)-831-7874.
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