Hampton man accused of being Army deserter released from jail

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A Hampton man accused of deserting the Army was released from jail today and headed home pending a legal battle with the military over his status.

Gary Naranjo, 49, was arrested Sunday at his home on a Department of Defense detainer.

His lawyer, Efrem Grail, filed an emergency petition Monday in federal court to have him released from the Allegheny County Jail because he said Mr. Naranjo needs medication.

Mr. Grail couldn't be reached today, but Mr. Naranjo was released from the lockup after the Army agreed to lift the detainer. He will be allowed to self-report to Fort Sill, Okla., where he will face a military court proceeding.

According to his court petition, Mr. Naranjo served in the Army from 1985 to 2000 and was discharged for medical reasons. He said in the petition that he never received any notice from the Army that he was a deserter and is "completely ignorant" of the factual basis for the military's warrant.

Fort Sill personnel sent the notice of desertion to his father in Miami in 2010, according to the complaint, but the date of the alleged desertion isn't clear.

Mr. Naranjo, a corporate recruiter, has been a resident of Allegheny County for a dozen years, first in Upper St. Clair and now in Hampton, where he lives with his wife and two children.


First Published July 15, 2014 12:00 AM

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