A Bend Police officer charged with assaulting a man while on duty made his first appearance in court as a defendant.
Kevin S. Uballez was arraigned Tuesday in Deschutes County Circuit Court on charges of misdemeanor assault and harassment.
The judge gave him two days to be fingerprinted and photographed at the Deschutes County jail, and set a date in December to enter a plea. Uballez was ordered to have no contact with his alleged victim, Caleb Hamlin, 42, whom prosecutors say Uballez slammed into the ground during an attempted arrest in June.
In the early morning of June 6, Uballez responded to a report of an intoxicated man running on NW Skyliners Road.
According to Uballez, the man, Hamlin, initially refused to comply with orders, though Hamlin eventually knelt as instructed.
According to Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel, Uballez approached Hamlin to take him into custody and “grabbed him from the back and slammed his upper body forward, resulting in Hamlin’s face violently striking the pavement.” The force of this blow significantly injured Hamlin’s nose, Hummel said.
The case was initiated by two of Uballez’s fellow officers who reported his alleged actions to supervisors.
Among the evidence in the case are Hamlin’s medical records from St. Charles Bend, Bend Ophthalmology and Bend Fire & Rescue, according to court documents.
Uballez, 38, wore to court a gray suit and a black neck gaiter pulled up close to his eyes.
He’s been on paid administrative leave since Oct. 22, when Hummel announced he would be filing criminal charges.
He was hired by Bend Police in 2014 having previously worked as an officer out of state.
A canine handler, Uballez was involved in several high-profile cases prior to the criminal allegations. He was present at a traffic stop near Bend in August 2018 when a driver suffering from mental illness killed himself. Uballez was placed on paid leave, and Hummel later determined the officers involved had acted appropriately.
Uballez’s attorney, Steven L. Myers, declined to comment.
“Not at this time,” he said.