A Bend man is suing the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office two years after he was shot and injured during an arrest.
The suit, filed by Brandon Berrett, names the Sheriff’s Office, two deputies and Sheriff Shane Nelson as co-defendents, claiming excessive force and negligence.
Deputies were at the Funny Farm property off Highway 97 north of Bend in October 2018 to arrest Berrett on an outstanding warrant.
As Berrett tried to drive away, Deputy Chris Jones fired into the car, hitting Berrett twice.
According to court documents filed this month, Berrett was seriously injured in the shooting and when he was pulled from the car and handcuffed before receiving medical help.
The suit claims the delay led to permanent medical issues and financial damage. He’s asking for at least $727,200, but the final amount will be determined at trial.
In December 2018, Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel cleared Jones in the shooting.
According to Hummel, his investigation into the October 12th incident showed Berrett was driving a vehicle in a way that was a danger to the officers involved and the general public.
A Deschutes County Grand Jury returned an Indictment charging Berrett with drunk driving, first-degree escape, reckless driving, recklessly endangering another person and other charges.
Hummel released this statement at the time:
“Brandon Berrett’s decision to attempt to escape from sheriff’s deputies who were attempting to arrest him constituted a crime. However, the mere fact of committing a crime should never, standing alone, result in a person being shot by law enforcement,” Hummel said. “Mr. Berrett’s decision to drive a car in a dangerous manner toward Deputy Jones and his ride-along, Corrections Deputy Lewis, is what resulted in shots being fired. Fortunately for all involved, Deputy Jones and Corrections Deputy Lewis were unharmed, and Brandon Berrett, while shot, survived and is recovering.”
However, during his press conference, Hummel did say that he had some concerns about the decisions made by the officers on the scene prior to the shooting.
You can read the full lawsuit below:DocumentFragment_89434242