A Lady Lake police lieutenant wants permission to return home after an alleged attack earlier this month on his wife and daughter.
Nelson Vargas, 50, was arrested in the wee hours Aug. 13 at his home in Minneloa. The former New York police officer is facing charges of domestic battery and child abuse. He remains free on $3,000 bond but remains barred from his home. He has pleaded not guilty in the case
An attorney representing Vargas filed a motion Monday in Lake County Court seeking the court’s permission to allow Vargas to return home. The court document indicates the victim does not object to Vargas’ return.
He had been texting his wife on the night of Aug. 12 while she was out to dinner with a friend, according to an arrest report from the Lake County Sheriff’s Office. The texts were “vulgar in nature.” The wife blocked Vargas’ messages, the report said. When she arrived home, Vargas was sitting on the couch, drinking beer and playing loud music. She asked Vargas to turn down the music. She went upstairs, but when she returned downstairs, Vargas used vulgar language and ordered her to go to sleep. She took his beer and poured it down the sink in the kitchen. He shoved her and grabbed her by the arm. Their 11-year-old daughter witnessed what was happening and told Vargas to stop. He pushed her and told her to “mind her own business,” the report said. She ran crying to a bedroom where she locked the door. Her mother headed for the bedroom, but Vargas shoved her to the floor of a nearby bathroom. The daughter emerged from the bedroom and saw her crying mother on the floor. A call was placed to 911.
Vargas joined the Lady Lake Police Department in February 2017. Vargas was promoted in June 2018 to the rank of corporal and became a field training officer, training new members of the department. In 2019, he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant.
Prior to joining the force in Lady Lake, Vargas served as a police officer for 23 years in his hometown of East Hampton, N.Y. He attained the rank of sergeant before his retirement in 2015.
He holds a degree in criminal justice from West Chester University in Pennsylvania.