A Former Tequesta police chief was arrested on Monday after he allegedly kicked a woman, jail records indicate. Gerald “Pete” Pitocchelli, 59, faces a battery charge. He was held at Palm Beach County Jail and was released on Tuesday after a hearing before Judge Dina Keever-Agrama. It is unclear if he has hired an attorney.
The judge placed the former police chief on supervised release and ordered him to take anger-management counseling. She also ordered him not to have any contact with the victim or the juvenile who witnessed the alleged fight on Sunday night and called 911.
The victim reportedly told the judge that the accused is not a “violent person” and that all he needed was “anger management and alcohol counseling.” She added that he is “perfect” if you “take away the alcohol.”
According to the arrest report, the alleged argument began over his family and cleaning at a home west of the city. It is not yet clear how the accused knows the victim or whether he lives at the home.
The former police chief allegedly smashed dishes in anger and the victim yelled at him until he left to sit in the garage. She reportedly followed him into the garage and told him to stop yelling, and that’s when the confrontation got physical.
The former police chief purportedly kicked the woman in her breast and she slapped him in retaliation. The two of them went to the kitchen to continue the argument and he allegedly pinned the woman on the counter top in the presence of a juvenile. The victim called to the juvenile for help and the juvenile managed to separate them before calling the police.
The accused left the home before the police arrived and was arrested the following day.
The defendant worked as a Delray Beach police officer for many years before he became Tequesta police chief in 2011. He resigned from the post a year later citing health reasons. He was reportedly rehired as a lieutenant and resigned again in 2014.
Another battery story involving a police officer was reported on April 11. A North Miami police officer was arrested on April 9 after he reportedly beat his wife during an argument. Alfred Bryant, 43, was charged with battery. News sources did not name an attorney for him.
According to the police report, the alleged argument took place in the kitchen of the police officer’s home. He and his wife were arguing about dinner. He wanted to go out with the whole family to eat, but his wife allegedly told him that she had already made herself dinner and he should go out with their three children to get food.
Feeling angry, the police officer reportedly splashed his wife’s face with soapy water from the kitchen sink and she lifted a frying pan to block the spray. He said in a statement that he tried to wrestle the pan out of her hands and they both fell after he lost his footing.
The police officer’s wife told police a different story. She said that her husband grabbed her by the neck and threw her on the floor where he hit her head on the ground twice. He let her go after their children begged him to stop.
The accused has worked with the police department for over a decade. It is unclear if the battery charge will affect his position in the department.