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Northern Arizona tribal police chief arrested

PHOENIX -- A tribal police chief in northern Arizona has been arrested on charges including domestic violence, assault and trespassing for shooting his estranged wife's car with a high-powered rifle, authorities said Tuesday.

Samuel Lujan, 47, acting police chief for the Tonto Apache Tribe near Payson, was arrested early Monday at a home in Heber. He was held Tuesday on a $250,000 bond.

Lujan was served with divorce papers last week. Sunday morning, he drove his patrol car, still wearing his uniform, to a home where the woman was staying in Heber, said Chief Deputy Jim Molesa of the Navajo County Sheriff's Office.

Between 15 and 20 rounds from a rifle were fired into the woman's car, Molesa said.

Additional rounds were fired into the vehicle with a semi-automatic handgun. The car was unoccupied and no one was injured.

Authorities eventually tracked down Lujan at a Heber trailer where they found his patrol car crashed into his personal car in the driveway, the rifle and a bottle of liquor on the hood of the vehicle and the door to his home ajar, Molesa said.

Authorities surrounded the home and attempted to make contact with Lujan, who eventually awoke but refused to come outside. About nine hours later, police tossed a pepper spraylike gas into the home. Molesa said Lujan emerged just after midnight and was taken into custody.

He was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence, assault, drive-by shooting, misuse of body armor for wearing his department-issued gear, and trespassing.

A telephone message left for his public defender wasn't returned Tuesday, and several phone numbers for his home were disconnected.

The Tonto Apache Police Department referred questions to tribal administration. A tribal official said no one was available for comment.

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