COOLIDGE — A Gila River Police officer was arrested after putting the barrel of his handgun in his mouth during a domestic violence situation.

Chuck Benally, 43, was arrested May 13 after his common-law wife called for help.

“She was in the front yard of her residence … when her husband, Chuck Benally, approached her in the yard,” a Coolidge Police Department officer wrote in a probable cause statement. “He asked her a question and didn’t like her response. She indicated he then rubbed his hands in front of her, she felt, in an attempt to intimidate her. He then grabbed a gun which was in a holster on his belt, put the gun inside his mouth and acted as though he was going to pull the trigger.”

She told CPD officers that Benally removed the gun and put it back into the holster and threw the gun at her feet.

The woman told officers she grabbed her keys, fled the scene in her car and called police.

She told police she was afraid of what he might do next based on previous incidents.

“During one verbal altercation, he grabbed her and pinned her down with his hands. He pushed her around on several occasions,” the officer wrote in the report.

The woman also told police he forced her to have sex with him when she didn’t want to.

Police went after Benally to arrest him on the evening of May 13, and surrounding homes were evacuated in the 1200 block of West Roosevelt Avenue.

Benally came out of the front door of the house and officers detained him. He did not have a handgun at the time.

“Due to the threats of self-harm, he was transported to Florence Anthem Hospital and then transported to the Pinal County Adult Detention Center. I searched the home in an attempt to locate the weapon. We were unsuccessful,” the officer wrote.

During the search police located many long rifles, handguns, magazines, ammunitions, scopes and optics in the house but not the weapon he was accused of using in the domestic violence incident.

The wife told police Benally had multiple weapons hidden around the house for easy access.

“He also has a safe which contains more weapons; however, he is the only person with the combination,” the CPD officer wrote.

Benally was charged with disorderly conduct with a deadly weapon by the Pinal County Attorney’s Office on May 18. He was released from the county jail on his own recognizance the same day. He is scheduled to appear in Superior Court on June 2.


Jim Headley is a reporter covering breaking news, crime and justice around Pinal County. He can be reached at