A Bend police officer who was accused of excessive force after a 2021 arrest was fired last week following an internal investigation. It comes more than 2 1/2 years after he was placed on paid administrative leave.
Kevin Uballez was fired last Friday, according to Bend Police Communications Manager Sheila Miller.
Uballez was placed on leave June 6, 2021, accused of assaulting a drunk man during an arrest. He was charged with fourth degree assault and harassment, to which he pleaded not guilty.
Those charges were dropped in November by the Deschutes County District Attorney’s Office, but Miller said the department continued with an internal affairs investigation.
“Because of an ongoing civil lawsuit and the fact that this is a personnel employment issue, we cannot provide further information about his departure,” Miller said.
Miller confirmed that Uballez earned more than $184,000 while on leave.
The charges against Uballez stemmed from an incident when he responded around 1 a.m. to a call of a possibly drunk pedestrian running in the middle of NW Skyliners Road near NW Lemhi Pass Drive in Bend’s Northwest Crossing neighborhood.
Then-Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel said the pedestrian, 42-year-old Caleb Hamlin of Colville, Wash., was drunk at the time and in Bend working on a construction remodel project at a house in the area. He had been beaten up by three Summit High School students in the area just prior to his run-in with the police, according to Hummel.
Uballez was accused of forcefully pushing Hamlin into the street, damaging his face.
There is no bodycam footage of the incident as it happened because, at the time, all Bend Police officers were not yet outfitted with them. Video was released from the body-worn camera of an officer that arrived after the incident, which showed the police trying to talk to Hamlin.