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Brian Chelich

Brian Chelich

PORTAGE — A Portage police officer allegedly shattered a glass closet door and smashed a cellphone before headbutting his girlfriend early Saturday morning.

Brian Chelich, 41, of Portage, was arrested and charged with misdemeanor battery resulting in bodily injury following the incident in the 6500 block of Portage Avenue. He has been released from Porter County Jail. An initial hearing on the charges was Monday morning in front of Porter Superior Court Judge Mike Drenth.

Porter County sheriff's police were called by Portage Police Chief Troy Williams to investigate the allegations.

When sheriff's police arrived at the home about 1:30 a.m. Saturday, the girlfriend had a large, open laceration across the bridge of her nose. The injury was bleeding and becoming swollen, said Sgt. Jamie Erow, the Sheriff's Department's public information officer.

The girlfriend told police she and Chelich had a verbal argument at her place of employment after it closed regarding another man, and they left the business separately.

When she arrived home, Chelich was not home, so she went to bed. The woman told police when Chelich came home, he stormed into the bedroom, grabbed her cellphone, shattered the screen and then punched and elbowed the glass bi-fold closet door, breaking both doors and shattering the glass, Erow said.

When Chelich walked out of the bedroom into the living room to lay on the couch, the woman went into the living room to retrieve her shoes to leave the house.

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She told police the argument started again, and while they were standing face to face, Chelich allegedly headbutted her in the nose, causing her injuries.

The woman used his cellphone to call 911.

Chelich then allegedly retrieved several items, including his police badge, ID, police-issued firearm and keys to his squad car, and placed them in the living room for police as they both waited for officers to arrive.

Officers saw a fresh cut with fresh blood on Chelich’s forehead, as well as injuries to his left middle finger and upper right arm, consistent with him breaking the glass door and headbutting the woman, police said. Chelich was transported to Valparaiso Medical Center for medical treatment before being transported to Porter County Jail.

Williams said Chelich, an approximate 13-year veteran of the department, has been placed on administrative leave, and the Police Department is seeking his termination.

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Porter County Reporter

Joyce has been a reporter for nearly 40 years, including 23 years with The Times. She's a native of Merrillville, but has lived in Portage for 39 years. She covers municipal and school government in Porter County.