Police Blotter | Navajo Police officer arrested on felony charges
A Navajo Police officer from the Window Rock District was arrested on felony charges in Gallup.
According to an arrest report, Gallup police officers Francis Collins and Lt. Melanie Padilla responded to a domestic dispute on the early morning of June 30, involving Navajo Police Officer Aaron M. Long.
Collins, in his report, said he and Padilla were notified that children were present at the home and might be “in harm’s way.” They heard screaming and yelling coming from the home.
The report said they noticed a “male hitting the west side door with his arm and fist.”
Collins saw four people, including the man, and ordered them to settle down and show their hands to him.
Collins identified three of the four people in his report as being Amanda Long, Jerome Lee and Trevor Morgan. He identified the fourth person as a female but not by name.
Collins said Amanda Long told him she was drinking with her ex-husband, whom she said was Aaron Long, a Navajo Police officer.
“Aaron and Amanda share two children,” Collins said in the report. “Amanda seemed to be in distress and wanted her children. She informed me she was in a domestic dispute with Aaron.”
According to Collins, Amanda Long alleged she was choked. He added that Padilla took photos of “red marks” on her neck.
“I briefly looked at Amanda’s neck and there were clear signs (of) injury of a battery,” Collins said. “Amanda was afraid of the safety of her children (before) she just got battered.”
Collins said Amanda told him Aaron said “some suicidal statements.”
Collins said witnesses Jerome Lee and Trevor Morgan told him they “seen Aaron and Amanda (get) into a physical fight.”
According to the police report, Lee and Morgan told Collins the Navajo Police officer allegedly had his arm around her neck as he reportedly threw her out from the residence.
“Aaron then released Amanda and closed the door stating, ‘I will go out with my kids!’” Collins said the two witnesses told him. “Jerome (Long), upset and concerned about the children then began to strike the west door asking for Aaron to release the children as I arrived on scene.”
Collins said they identified themselves as police officers as they knocked on the door. More police officers arrived on scene and surrounded the home.
Officers who were watching the home informed Collins they saw movement through one of the windows.
“I then looked inside the Navajo Nation Police vehicle parked outside. I viewed no firearms, armor, and any other weapons inside the vehicle,” Collins said in his report.
Officers then began blocking traffic at the intersection that leads to the scene.
Padilla informed the “chain of command” of the situation, Collins said.
“Aaron Long did have the ability, means and intentions to possibly harm others,” Collins wrote in his report.
Signed search warrants were obtained, said Collins.
“Announcements were made over the loudspeaker and attempts were made to contact Aaron Long through cell phone,” Collins said.
Long eventually came out of the residence. Both children were located in a back bedroom, unharmed.
Long was placed under arrest and taken to McKinley County Adult Detention Center. He was arrested for aggravated battery against a household member and false imprisonment, both felonies.
According to a February 2019 press release from the President Jonathan Nez’s office, Long graduated from the Navajo Police Training Academy in Chinle with Class 53 on Feb. 22, 2019.
Class 53 was the second class to graduate from the academy, said Nez.