Portage police officer charged with head-butting girlfriend

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A Portage, Indiana, police officer was arrested Saturday after allegedly head-butting his girlfriend during an argument at their home.

Officer Brian Chelich, 41, is charged with a misdemeanor count of domestic battery, according to a statement from the Porter County sheriff’s office.

Authorities were called at 1:24 a.m. for reports of the battery at a home in the 6500 block of Portage Avenue, the sheriff’s office said. Porter police called the sheriff’s office for assistance because Chelich is an officer of the department.

A 29-year-old woman told investigators that she and Chelich, her boyfriend, had argued about another man the previous night at her workplace, the sheriff’s office said. They left the business separately.

When the woman got to the home, she went to bed because Chelich wasn’t home, the sheriff’s office said. She told investigators that Chelich shattered her cellphone’s screen when he got home before punching and elbowing a glass folding closet door, shattering the glass.

Brian Chelich | Portage police

Brian Chelich | Portage police

Chelich then went to the living room to lie on the couch, the sheriff’s office said. When his girlfriend went into the living room to get her shoes and leave the home, they got into another argument.

While they were standing face-to-face and arguing, Chelich head-butted the woman, causing a laceration across the bridge of her nose, according to the sheriff’s office. She then used Chelich’s phone to call 911 and report the battery.

Chelich then put his badge, police ID, police firearm and the keys to his squad car in the living room for the responding officers while he and the woman waited for police to arrive, the sheriff’s office said.

Chelich was taken to Valparaiso Medical Center to be treated for a cut to his forehead from head-butting the woman and injuries to his left middle finger and upper right arm from breaking the door, the sheriff’s office said. He was later transferred to the Porter County Jail.

Chelich was placed on administrative leave and the department is seeking to fire him, Portage Police Chief Troy Williams said in an email.

“This kind of behavior cannot and will not be tolerated,” Williams said. “We, as officers, are held to a higher standard, as well we should be, and our community should expect nothing less.”

Chelich was released from custody after posting $5,000 bond, according to the sheriff’s office.

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