Former Nueces County Chief Deputy Peralta Passed Away - KiiiTV.com South Texas, Corpus Christi, Coastal Bend

Former Nueces County Chief Deputy Peralta Passed Away

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CORPUS CHRISTI (Kiii News) -

He was just 54 years old and looking forward to a long retirement, but sadly, Pete Peralta, a 31-year veteran of the Nueces County Sheriff's Department, passed way overnight.

"It pulls the breath away from you, because it's just, you can't believe that," Nueces County Sheriff Jim Kaelin said. "He just retired. He just retired!"

Kaelin expressed sadness over the loss of his former chief deputy. Peralta was honored with a retirement celebration by his coworkers just a couple of weeks ago. In an interview during his party, Peralta said that, after 30 years of being at work before 7 a.m., he was looking forward to sleeping in and doing some fishing.

On Friday, Kaelin said the entire staff is still coming to grips with Peralta's sudden passing, adding that the former chief leaves behind an impressive record.

"Starting with Sheriff Solomon Ortiz through Sheriff Hicky, Sheriff Luby, Sheriff Olivarez, Sheriff Stutts and myself," Kaelin said, "Pete adjusted to all those sheriff's styles, and helped each of those sheriff's achieve the degree of success, that each of those sheriffs had because of Pete Peralta."

The sheriff said while funeral arrangements are still pending, Chief Deputy Peralta will be buried with full military honors.