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JUST IN: Riviera firefighter arrested on criminal mischief charge

A Riviera Beach firefighter was arrested after police say he disabled his ex-girlfriend’s car and continually harassed her. The woman claimed he left her messages saying he wanted her back and that he planned to drive by her home “in his fire truck and did not care,” according to an arrest report released this week.

Ivan Chong, who faces one count of criminal mischief, was arrested Feb. 2 and released from the Palm Beach County Jail the following day on $3,000 bail. The charge was originally a felony but was reduced to a misdemeanor Feb. 27, according to court records.

See who’s been booked into the Palm Beach County Jail

On Jan. 29, a 27-year-old woman called North Palm Beach police to report her car had been disabled for the second time in a month and that she suspected her ex-boyfriend, Chong, caused the issue. Police initially said it appeared that sugar was put into the gas tank — which would cause issues — though Chong later said he put in soap and water.

Previously, the woman had told Chong she didn’t want to hear from him anymore and she didn’t want him contacting her family. She said Chong sent her hundreds of text messages saying he loved her, missed her and wanted her back. In at least one text message, he mentioned the guns he owned and the woman said that reference concerned her.

In other texts, he told her to check notes he left for her on her car and another said he’ll drive by her residence in his fire truck, according to the report.

According to the report, the woman and Chong have had several past domestic incidents going back to 2014.

Have you seen them? Wanted fugitives in Palm Beach County

The woman told police she only wanted to press for the damages done to her car, but that if Chong didn’t leave her alone, she wanted him to be arrested for stalking and harassment.

When Chong spoke with police, he mixed his stories up and “try to blame (the woman) for other issues in their relationship.” Over and over during an interview, Chong said he did not want to lose his job as a firefighter and “didn’t want to be in the front page of the newspaper,” according to the report.

Chong’s employment status with Riviera Beach Fire Rescue was unknown early Friday. He does not appear to have a previous criminal history, according to court records.

Chong is expected back in court April 7 for a plea conference.

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