The former mayor of Kiowa has pleaded guilty to threatening his teenage son with a gun as his son was trying to keep his dad from driving drunk.
Lawrence Perreault, 45, pleaded guilty Tuesday, Feb. 27, in Elbert County District Court to felony menacing and to a misdemeanor count of prohibited use of a weapon – drunk with a gun.
Judge Robert Lung placed him on a four-year deferred judgment.
Perreault will be on probation for four years, with alcohol treatment, mental health treatment (if needed) and absolutely no access to firearms. He must perform 24 hours of community service. He also forfeited the firearms in police custody. At the end of the four years, if he has been compliant, the felony charge will be dismissed. The misdemeanor is a permanent conviction.
“It is difficult to imagine what could lead a father to point a gun at his son. Here we have a teenager trying to help his dad do the right thing,” said District Attorney George Brauchler. “The father, the man who should be setting a good example, instead puts his son in harm’s way. This is a man who needs help, and I am glad he has a chance to get it.”
On April 15, 2017, Perreault went with his son and daughter to a mall in Aurora. They got something to eat and went to a movie, then had dinner. Perreault was drinking beer all afternoon and had wine with dinner.
Perreault drove his children to a nearby store, and his son became concerned about his father’s driving and called his mother. The son stalled his father at the store until his mother arrived.
Perreault’s wife put her daughter in her own car and convinced her husband to let their son drive. On the way home, Perrault became angry with his son, threatening him and insulting him. Perreault pulled out his gun and pointed it as his son, then reached over and turned off the ignition in the middle of the road.
Perrealt’s wife also stopped her car, and the two adults began arguing on the side of the road.
An Elbert County Sheriff’s Department deputy saw the cars and stopped to investigate.
“Lawrence Perreault is a member of our community who was given enormous trust — trust not only to lead the citizens of Kiowa in his capacity as mayor, but also to lead troops as a high-ranking member of our military,” said Deputy District Attorney Rory Devlin, who prosecuted the case. “He violated that trust by irresponsibly handling firearms, with which he had extensive training and experience, in an irresponsible manner, and by placing his son at risk. I am pleased he took responsibility with this chance to rehabilitate and to make the community safe by addressing this breach of trust.”