Colbert residents react to new police chief's arrest, termination record

Published: Sep. 12, 2017 at 8:15 PM CDT
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COLBERT, Okla. (KXII) -- On Monday, it was discovered that the City of Colbert's new interim police chief, David Petersen, had an arrest record and was fired from the Pushmataha County Sheriff's Office last year.

Tuesday, News 12 learned that Petersen was also let go as a Hugo police officer about 11 years ago.

"We want to believe that when somebody applies, and if they've had any experience, that they're a good person," Connie Hestily said.

Connie Hestily has seen Colbert hire four interim police chiefs so far this year, with Petersen as the most recent hire.

He replaces Bart Alsbrook who resigned following our reports of his ties to neo-Nazi and skinhead groups.

Petersen has a long history with several local law agencies.

Hugo police said they let Petersen go in 2006 after his first year on the job because it was in the "best interest of the city."

Five years later, Petersen was arrested for embezzlement after admitting to taking a laptop, toys and food from the Walmart where he worked. That case was later dismissed and he eventually went back to law enforcement, this time working as a deputy in Pushmataha County.

But in 2016, Petersen was fired from Pushmataha County, accused of using the county vehicle for personal use.

Days before that firing, Petersen claimed he was responding to a creepy clown call in his personal vehicle, when Antler's police tried to pull him over.

He didn't stop, they chased him and eventually an Antler's police cruiser crashed. Petersen was found to be at fault.

"When we find out something like that, it makes you feel really bad because Colbert's a great little place, and you want them to get the best," Hestily said.

Peterson told News 12 he couldn't talk on camera, but all of the incidents were a misunderstanding.

So we went to city hall and asked if anyone was available to speak about the findings, but they said, "I don't have anything ma'am, it's posted on the door."

That sign on the door said to contact the city spokesperson, but after multiple calls, none of them were returned. We also called city councilman James Coble, who had no comment and then hung up.

"I hope they do find somebody, I hope they keep trying till they find the right person for the job," Hestily said.

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