Police are looking for Nicholas Dale Pearson, 38, who is facing four charges related to an incident last month when he allegedly punched Bend’s top cop hard enough to leave a mark.
Bend Police Chief Jim Porter described Pearson’s arrest to The Bulletin. Pearson, however, is not represented by an attorney in this matter and his version of events is unknown.
“He rang my bell pretty good,” Porter said. “I haven’t been hit like that since high school — when you see stars.”
The chief’s encounter began about noon Aug. 16. Porter was getting coffee at the Dutch Bros location on N. Third Street when he saw Pearson jump from the sidewalk into traffic and then walk in the road, causing cars to swerve to avoid him. He saw Pearson throw a paper cup filled with a fluid at one driver, who may or may not have seen him, Porter said.
Porter was wearing a Bend Police polo shirt with his badge visible, he said. He approached Pearson, saying, “You’re having a bad day.”
“I asked him to pick up his litter and call it a bad day and move on,” Porter said Thursday.
According to the chief, Pearson — listed in court documents as 6-foot-1 and 360 pounds — walked angrily toward him, threatening sexual assault and asking, “What are you going to do?”
Porter told Pearson he would arrest him for disorderly conduct and littering if Pearson didn’t pick up his garbage and move on, the chief said.
Pearson threw his cup at Porter and pushed him, at which point, the chief “made space” and called for cover on his police radio.
There were no available units because of an emergency occurring in another part of the county.
As Porter was on his radio, Pearson allegedly punched the chief in the face with his right hand.
Porter was eventually able to convince Pearson to sit down on the curb. Officers arrived, and Pearson was arrested and taken to the Deschutes County jail. He was granted release the next day and ordered to have no contact with his alleged victim, Porter.
Pearson has been charged with first-degree disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, assaulting a public safety officer and offensive littering. Assaulting an officer is a Class C felony in Oregon punishable by up to five years in prison.
Pearson failed to appear at his arraignment Aug. 30, and an arrest warrant was issued. He is listed in the warrant as having brown hair and brown eyes, and no known address.
Porter has been with Bend Police since 1991 and was promoted to chief nearly five years ago. He oversees 103 officers.
Porter said he only participates in arrests if he happens to witness a threat to the public.
The incident has led to ribbing from Bend officers, Porter said.
“They think I called for backup pretty quick,” Porter said. “But this kind of stuff happens to my officers four to six times a day, where a person is having a mental health crisis, like this guy was.”
Porter said of the 3,300 to 3,400 arrests per year in Bend, force is only used in about 60 instances.
— Reporter: 541-383-0325, firstname.lastname@example.org