Kevin S. Uballez (copy)

In this Nov. 9 file photo, Kevin S. Uballez, left, and his attorney, Steven L. Myers, appear in Deschutes County Circuit Court.

A Colville man prosecutors say was assaulted by an on-duty Bend Police officer has hired a lawyer and intends to sue.

Attorneys for Caleb Hamlin filed a tort-claim notice last week with the city of Bend asserting he will seek damages for a June 6 incident in which his head was allegedly slammed into the ground by Bend Police officer Kevin Uballez.

“While Caleb Hamlin was under arrest, compliant, and on his knees, Officer Uballez walked up behind Mr. Hamlin and slammed him forward into the ground,” wrote attorney Mark McDougal.

“A claim for damages is hereby asserted against Officer Kevin Uballez, the city of Bend and any other involved officers.”

In Oregon, people who want to sue a government agency must first file a tort-claim notice.

Hamlin has retained the Portland firm Kafoury McDougal, which has extensive experience with police brutality cases. According to firm partner Greg Kafoury, the office has secured three of the five largest police brutality verdicts ever in Oregon, including the largest: the case of Jason Cox, whom a jury awarded $562,000 after he was beaten by three Portland Police officers in 2011.

In Hamlin’s case, officers were called to a report of an intoxicated man running in the middle of NW Skyliners Road near Sunset View Park around 1:30 a.m. on June 6.

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.”

Hamlin, a construction worker living temporarily in Bend, was admitted to St. Charles Bend with head and face injuries, according to his tort-claim notice.

Two of Uballez’s fellow officers reported his alleged actions to supervisors.

The case was investigated by Oregon State Police.

Last month, Hummel announced he would charge Uballez with assault and harassment.

Additionally, he said OSP’s investigation revealed Hamlin’s bad night began before police even arrived. Earlier in the evening, an intoxicated Hamlin reportedly encountered a group of high school students who beat him. Several of those teenagers have been charged with crimes in the juvenile system.

Uballez appeared in court earlier this month for arraignment. He has a plea hearing scheduled for Dec. 14.

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Reporter: 541-383-0325,

gandrews@bendbulletin.com

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