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Bend police officer charged with assault of intoxicated man; 3 Summit HS students accused in beating

(Update: Uballez attorney statement; disputes DA on what transpired, will fight charges)

Officer Kevin Uballez facing fourth-degree assault, harassment charges

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel filed charges of fourth-degree assault and harassment Friday against Bend Police Officer Kevin Uballez, accused of slamming an intoxicated man and sending him to the pavement. Three Summit High students also face charges for an earlier beating of the man.

Here's Hummel's statement, with added info from the news conference, a Bend Police statement and a statement from Uballez's attorney, disputing the sequence of events. The attorney says his client will fight the charges.:

On June 6 of this year, at approximately 1:00 AM, Officer Uballez responded to a call of a possibly intoxicated pedestrian running in the middle of NW Skyliners road near the intersection with NW Lemhi Pass Drive. This pedestrian was indeed intoxicated, (NewsChannel 21 is not releasing his name). He is 42 years old and is a resident of Colville, Washington. He was in Bend while he worked on a construction remodel project for a house in NW Bend.

When Officer Uballez arrived on the scene, __ was attempting to get up from the ground in the middle of the road. Officer Uballez says that __did not initially comply with his commands, so he got his K9 dog out of his car. With the dog out of the car, Uballez says he instructed ___ to step back and drop to his knees: ___ complied with this order.

Once ___ was on his knees, Uballez put his dog back in his patrol car. As Uballez was putting his dog in his car, two other Bend Police Officers arrived on the scene: Officers Peter Enna and Martin Tabaco.

The three officers then walked toward ___, who was on his knees and fully compliant. Uballez reached ___ first, and when he did, he grabbed him from the back and slammed his upper body forward, resulting in ___face violently striking the pavement; the force of this blow significantly injured ___ nose. There was no legal justification for slamming ____ face into the pavement; therefore, it constituted the crimes of Assault in the Fourth Degree and Harassment.

The public would never have known of this incident if it were not for the fact that Officers Enna and Tabaco reported to their supervisors that the force used was excessive. Also, if Officers Enna and Tabaco did not report this matter, we would never have known of another crime that occurred moments before the crimes committed by Officer Uballez.

The Oregon State Police investigated the allegations against Uballez, and in the course of their investigation, they uncovered a troubling and sad incident. Three Summit High School students encountered ____ before he was assaulted by Uballez. ____ was in the street, drunk, and disoriented. Rather than calling for help for ____, these students assaulted him and left him in the street. ___ then stumbled around alone, in the dark, and in pain, until he was encountered by Uballez.

Two of these people who assaulted ___ were under 18, and today I filed a petition in juvenile court charging them for their assaults.

The third was 18 at the time of the assault, and will be offered the opportunity to have his case handled via the Deschutes County District Attorney’s Emerging Adult Program.

The four suspects are presumed innocent of these crimes, and in fact are innocent of these crimes, unless and until their guilt is proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

The Oregon State Police conducted a top-notch and through investigation, and I thank them for their excellent work.

Mr. Uballez’s first court appearance in this matter is November 9, 2021 at 1:15.

Statement from District Attorney Hummel:
“Officers Enna and Tabaco are the embodiment of what it means to be a law enforcement officer. They understand their job is to enforce the law and keep us safe. I appreciate how difficult it must be to report a colleague for their misdeeds. These officers put service to our community ahead of protection of a colleague; I’m proud of them.”

---

Hummel said the incident involving Uballez was not captured on video but released 10 minutes of body-cam video taken moments later by another officer, David Peterson, who arrived on the scene, and showed the man lying on the ground, with a small pool of blood on the street.

Hummel also stressed that Bend police initiated the investigation when the two other officers reported it to supervisors, and Police Chief Mike Krantz then contacted OSP, which is when Hummel became involved.

"OSP left no stone unturned in this investigation," he said, checking security and surveillance videos in the area, as well as cellphone and 911 calls that night.

Asked about the earlier assault, Hummel said, "A car full of these kids from Summit High drove by (the man in the street) and there was an interaction. He yelled something, he was intoxicated. Rather than drive by, they got out and apparently wanted to teach him a lesson. And they gave him a beat-down -- they hit him and kicked him, and they left."

Hummel explained the delay in charges due to a "labor-intensive and time-intensive investigation."

The students when first contacted "denied knowing anything about the assault," he said, until later, when one parent came forward with information about one of the teens.

Hummel noted that the alleged victim has no memory of either assault, but said he will testify in court, if the case goes to trial. He said the man suffered injuries to his eye, eye socket and nose.

"He can very clearly tell you about his pain today and his injuries today," the DA said.


Bend Police Dept. news release:

Early on Sunday, June 6, Bend Police Officer Kevin Uballez responded to reports that a person was in the roadway and possibly chasing after vehicles at NW Skyliners Road and NW Lemhi Pass Drive. Upon arrival, the officer engaged with the person, identified as a 42-year-old white male, and eventually arrested him for disorderly conduct and menacing. 

Two additional police officers arrived at the scene and observed the arresting officer use force to make the arrest. The person received treatment at the scene for minor injuries and was transported to St. Charles Hospital to treat non-life-threatening injuries. 

Both assisting police officers separately reported to supervisors that they believed that Officer Uballez used unreasonable force during the arrest, given the totality of the circumstances they knew. As a result, Bend Police supervisors began to review the incident. 

On June 6, Police Chief Mike Krantz placed Officer Uballez on administrative leave pending an incident review. On Monday, June 7, the Bend Police Department requested that the Oregon State Police conduct a criminal investigation into the allegations of unreasonable force used by the officer. Simultaneously, the Bend Police Department opened an internal administrative investigation.

Today, The District Attorney's Office has informed the Bend Police Department that Officer Uballez has been charged with assault IV and harassment.   

Because there are ongoing, open criminal and internal administrative investigations, the Police Department will not release additional details or make additional comments about this incident or this case.   

The Bend Police Department's "Policy 300 – Force Response" Bend Police Department Policies | City of Bend (bendoregon.gov) sets expectations for police conduct. Officers are frequently involved in interactions that may warrant using objectively reasonable force in carrying out their duties.

"Police officers must make decisions in tense, uncertain, and rapidly evolving circumstances," said Police Chief Mike Krantz. "A police officer's decision to use force in that split second may have a long-lasting impact on the person force was used on, the officer, the agency, the community, and others. Because of this impact, force responses by police officers deserve scrutiny.   When a police officer decides to use force, we must call on ourselves to be accountable for those actions and accountable to our community by ensuring a complete and thorough investigation."

Oregon State law and Bend Police Policy 300 says that police officers who witness another police officer engage in what they believe could be misconduct shall report those observations to a supervisor immediately or as soon as practicable. Oregon law identifies the use of force that is objectively unreasonable under the totality of the circumstances as misconduct. The Bend Police Department policy is more restrictive than the Oregon State Law on the timeline of mandatory reporting of misconduct of other police officers. 

"As guardians of our community, our police officers will hold each other accountable to the highest standards possible.  In this instance, two Bend police officers met my expectations when they displayed a high degree of accountability in reporting actions that they believed fell outside the reasonable force standards.  No matter the outcome of the investigation after reviewing all available evidence, the display of integrity by these officers should be recognized and respected. Our Bend police officers pride themselves on providing excellent service to our community, and this alleged misconduct by one employee does not reflect our department's ethos,"   said Krantz. 

Chief Krantz said, "I would also like to thank the Oregon State Police and the Deschutes County District Attorney's Office for their enduring partnerships and willingness to conduct this independent investigation professionally, expeditiously, and thoroughly."


Statement from Uballez attorney Steve Myers:

Mr Hummel’s statements to the press today are quite concerning, in that he mischaracterizes what was reported by those on scene and conveniently withholds reported facts that provide a more accurate account of the encounter.

Ostensibly,  in an apparent attempt to justify charging an officer with an unblemished 7 years of service to the community who did his level best to defuse and convince a man not to carry out his threats to physically attack and fight Officer Uballez and attack Officer Uballez’s K-9 partner, Kim.

(What) Mr Hummel failed to include in his briefings to the press, is that Officer Uballez, in responding to a citizens call for police help, stopped his patrol vehicle approximately 50 yards from (the man). Officer Uballez was alone and now parked on a dark unlit road.

Upon exiting his patrol vehicle, (the man) asked if he was a police officer, to which Officer Uballez responded in the affirmative and then simply inquired “What’s going on?”

(The man) promptly got up and immediately started marching directly towards Officer, Uballez repeatedly threatening to physically attack and fight him. Officer Uballez responded that he doesn’t want to fight him, but (the man) continued marching towards him, repeating his threats.

Now concerned he was surely going to be attacked by (the man), Officer Uballez radios for help. Officer Uballez then tries to thwart the attack by telling (the man) to back up and that if he attempts to attack him he will have his dog bite him. (The man) replies “I’ll **** your dog up.”

Thinking that maybe showing Kim to (the man) would convince (the man) to comply, Officer Uballez quickly retrieved Kim and both Officer Uballez and Kim both go down, Officer Uballez to his knees and Kim to his stomach. It was at this late stage of the encounter that 2 cover officers arrive on scene, officers Tabaco and Enna.

Officer Uballez quickly puts Kim back into the patrol vehicle. All three officers report instructing (the man) to get onto his stomach (not to his knees as stated by Mr. Hummel). (The man) refused to do so and remained on his knees near Officer Uballez’s car.

In an effort to safely take (the man) into custody, Officer Uballez quickly approached (the man) from the side and, consistent with his training and utilizing a policy approved technique, he grabbed (the man's) left wrist and pushes on (his) back left shoulder blade, forcing (the man's) upper torso forward onto the pavement into a prone position.

No officers report Officer Uballez “slamming“ his face down, as Mr. Hummel states. Moreover, Officer Uballez did not grab or push on (the man's) head or neck that perhaps would suggest an intent to cause (his) face to strike the pavement. Officers Enna and Uballez then handcuffed (the man).

Officer Uballez then notices that (the man) was bleeding from his nose and, as is required by Bend PD policy, medics were summoned to the scene to evaluate (the man) for injuries. While waiting for medics, (the man) continued to threaten to fight another officer.

Notable is that Officer Uballez did not know (the man); did not know the level of (his) fighting skills; did not know that (the man) was drinking alcohol earlier and, if so, the quantity he consumed; did not know that (the man) was involved in a physical fight with 3 other younger males earlier in the evening; and at no time did (the man) verbalize he was going to abort his threats to physically fight and/ or otherwise express a willingness to give up and/or comply with police commands.

Author Profile Photo

Carly Keenan

Carly Keenan is a multimedia journalist and producer for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Carly here.

Barney Lerten

Barney is the digital content director for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Barney here.

Comments

71 Comments

    1. If things are as Hummel laid out (and that is a HUGE if), you probably won’t need to worry about that to much anymore. It will be interesting to hear the other side of the story, but if he is guilty, he may well be looking for work in a different capacity.

        1. Sadly you’re probably correct. That being said, my hat’s off to the two officers who crossed that thin blue line and reported the incident to their superiors. They took their oath seriously, high praise to them both.

  1. Kudos to Chief Krantz and those 2 officers who adhered to the mandatory reporting policy put into effect by Mike Krantz soon after he became chief.

    The rest of how this was handled came from that bedrock policy and the training BPD conducted with its supervisors and officers.

    1. That is incorrect statement as to the date the reporting of misconduct by officer policy was enacted. Bend PD adapted the Lexipol model policies in 2015 and the policy requiring sworn staff to report excessive force, criminal activity or general misconduct by other officers was adopted in 2015, well ahead of the State Law requirement.

  2. IMO, there are 3 personalities at play here: the drunk man, the reporting officers and the offending officer(and teens). And you can trace most of the outcomes from this story to 1 central location – Parenting. Without a stable, strong, supportive and loving family NONE of this happens to these people.

    1. – that’s some pretty absolutist declaration there – too bad it is based on nothing more than your beliefs – some of the best parents in the world have had their hearts broken by the vicissitudes of life, just as some of the best of humanity have come from the worst of upbringings – don’t believe me? – ask around

  3. Very reassuring to know that we have officers in BPD who will not tolerate unprofessional, reckless, and injurious conduct from their colleagues. Every police department needs a Serpico or two. Every professional organization should have safeguards in place to protect whistleblowers.

      1. Maybe the example of Carol Horne is more appropriate. She was a Buffalo, NY, police officer who called out a colleague for choking a handcuffed man in 2008. She was terminated–and only recently had her department pension reinstated. Personal sadism does seem to be a contributing factor in this case, I must agree.

  4. If proven guilty this officer should be booted clear through the up-rights out of here! I would have to know the laws to understand I guess but I would think if I intentionally bashed someone’s face into the pavement (or any other immovable object) I would be looking at 1st degree assault. But 4th? Is there even anything after 4th degree? Wouldn’t 4th be like spitting on somebody? And the teens? Immature Cowards. Be interesting to know if they might not have been a little intoxicated as well at 1:00am

  5. Great job officers! proud of the officers that stood up and spoke the truth in a tough situation. We are lucky to have such great officers in Central Oregon. Many other police forces would have stood with there co-worker even though he was wrong and not spoken the truth. I commend them for speaking the truth

  6. DA Emerging Adult Program?!? WOW and this whole time I thought you were an adult at 18 LOL.. What a joke of a program? How much $$$ does that waste? Either way its nice to see that while this guy was drunk in public he didnt deserve to get beat up by a POS Cop or punk-ass kids..

      1. – “there has been a push…”, by whom? – sounds like sitting around dreaming up things to be against (or repeating Tuckerisms) – good use of your time

      1. Was the “victim” initially charged? Public intoxication is a crime. Delaying an investigation and resisting arrest is also a crime. Has the body worn camera evidence been released?

          1. Thanks…I should’ve known considering narcotics are no longer a crime. Is there a link to the entire video? We have learned from recent past that the media loves to only provide a small portion of a clip involving police encounters.

            1. Well, another media posted it all, expletives and all (with a warning). We did not. Because as our article states, it begins after the incident that led to the charges, and instead focuses on the alleged victim, whom we do not name (other media policies differ, but we in general don’t name alleged victims, particularly those who face no criminal charges.)

  7. Do you know what happens when your face is ‘slammed into the pavement’? Your nose is crushed…100% your teeth are broken 100% You lip is split 100% You have other significant facial injuries, and perhaps fractures….You might have a concussion or skull fracture. You do not have ‘minor injuries’..I don’t know what the other cops thought they saw, or what Hummel is trying to prove; well, we all know he is campaigning for the States Attorney job, but once again, he is wrong and will probably lose another high profile suit..well, he will be gone before it is adjudicated; hopefully not to the Federal job.

    1. – what in the hell are you trying to sell? – now you are an authority on the physical result of violent behavior? – how do you justify pretending to know ANYTHING relevant about what happened? – what is your game?

  8. Why don’t we have the name of the 18 yr old cowardly punk who beat a drunk guy and left him for dead? If this happened on the east side, would that person’s name be withheld?

  9. Oops!

    DA Hummel AGAIN seeks to garner favor with the selection process for US Attorney by self-promoting his fearless “social justice” persona at the expense of a cop…as he did with a former Sunriver officer…the officer found not guilty upon trial.

    Are you listening, Team Wyden?

    1. – or, you are cool with pointless brutal police behavior and attacking someone else is a way to promote it, while being able to maintain deniability for your behavior? – nope, i have no more actual evidence for that any more than you do for your proclamation, other than your previous behavior

  10. I hope Hummel gets investigated for dropping charges against the menace and I hope the Officer gets a reprimand and keeps his job. We are all deserving of a second chance at work.

    1. I agree that people deserve a second chance, in most cases. However, I don’t
      think that this cop does. Is it worth giving a cop a second chance if they
      have violent tendencies or anger control issues ? Maybe this was a one time
      incident that happened, but it’s not likely, and it’s not worth taking a chance
      on him and having another person end up seriously beaten or worse…

    2. – no – not at all interested in your personal emo beef against Hummel – what you are promoting is sociopathic behavior and abuse of power – no – his behavior makes him unfit to walk free in public, let alone be issued deadly weapons – what sort of behavior does a person have to commit to be labeled a “menace” by you while you play cheerleader for a violent thug, who just happens to be in a uniform? – this is the moral platform you promote?

    1. I have to admit, I had the same thought when I read the story. Our son went to Summit
      and he told us quite a few stories about some of the kids. Like any school, there are
      good kids and bad kids, but he said that the majority were snobby, spoiled rotten,
      elitists that thought the world evolved around them,and a lot of that is the parents fault.
      I was pleasantly surprised that one of the parents actually reported the incident.

  11. Uballez isn’t fired yet? He has a right to a trial by jury before he can be deprived of freedom; but the investigation so far should be more than sufficient to terminate employment that demands public trust.

  12. Thats right, police officers are supposed to be careful and baby people breaking the law nowadays cause everyone plays victim when they have to deal with the consequences of their actions

    1. Did this all trickle down from super-victim Trump? He’s always the victim no matter what law he breaks. I think that you’re on to something.

  13. Do police normally call for back up when dealing with a drunk. I watched the video and there were perhaps 5 police vehicles present? Does that suggest the “victim” was difficult to deal with? Also, he was assaulted minutes before the officer arrived: could the bleeding be due to the previous assault by the teens? If he was resisting and fighting and not complying lawful commands, things might get a little rough. Also, more details from the other reporting officers would be nice as to what exactly they saw or didn’t see. I’m not yet ready to convict the officer.

    1. Numerous police appear for back-up on anything significant, including someone reported as resisting arrest, as scanner listeners know. There’s still a court process where more details will be made known (unless there’s a settlement, which happens all the time, and not just in cases involving officers.)

  14. I am actually at a loss for words. This is what policing should look like. Placing the community you serve before your co-workers (especially when that co-worker is a horrible human). I have never felt more pride in our police than I do today. Officers Peter Enna and Martin Tabaco, thank you so much for helping restore some faith in our officers!

    1. That’s called prejudice! Thanks for the help demonstrating why our criminal justice system is a mess. Knowing that so many of your like minded people are in the population it’s nearly impossible to assemble a suitable jury anymore.

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