The Redmond Police Department is once again reviewing the conduct of its officers after a suspect was punched and tased during an arrest at Sam Johnson Park.
And the mother of the suspect says she believe the police were too rough with her son.
The incident Wednesday was caught on cell phone video and distributed on social media – the second time this summer that the department’s use of force has come under scrutiny.
Redmond Police Lt. Curtis Chambers said Wednesday’s incident began when 25-year-old Darian Belles was recognized at the park as someone suspected of selling drugs in the park. Officers also noticed he had an unleashed dog in the park, which is illegal.
Chambers said officers contacted Belles, saying they needed to speak to him about the dog. Belles said he was not going to talk with the officer. The officer warned Belles that he would be arrested if he refused to speak to him.
“During the contact, the decision to arrest the male for Interfering with a Peace Officer was made, and the male was ordered to turn around and put his hands behind his back,” Chamber said in a release on Thursday. “The male resisted the officer’s efforts of arrest and was placed on the ground.”
Chambers said the suspect continued to physically resist arrest when he was on the ground. A Taser was deployed during the attempt to place the male in custody. After the initial use of the Taser on the male, he further resisted by attempting to grab the Taser and take it away from one of the officers, according to Chambers.
“The second officer, recognizing the suspect was attempting to take control of the Taser and putting the officer’s safety at risk, struck the suspect in the head with a closed fist twice effectively ending the male’s attempt to take control of the Taser,” Chamber said.
Ultimately, Belles was secured in custody after additional officers arrived.
Chambers said the public shouldn’t rush to judgement based on what they see on video.
“It’s important to detail facts of this incident instead of allowing video that has no context to be shown and people making up their own minds without all the fact,” he said.
Michelle Lane, Belles’ mother, acknowledged her son has had some issues. Even so, she said she has had a good relationship with Redmond PD regarding past run-ins with her son.
She said she saw her son confused in the video, saying over and over again “I didn’t do anything to warrant this…and that’s what I feel.”
“I don’t think it was warranted,” she said. “On that video nowhere did I see him have a stun gun or taser. I saw him push it away, but I think I would have done that.”
Belles was arrested on three counts of interfering with a peace officer, three counts of resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, attempted assault on a public safety officer, second degree attempted unlawful use of a stun gun and third degree criminal mischief.
He was arraigned on Thursday afternoon.
Chambers said the officers primarily involved are identified as Officer Bryan Holman and Officer Chris Wooten. Neither officer was injured, and both have returned to work. Both officers involved had body cameras on and recorded the incident.
“It is never lawful to resist arrest,” Chambers said. “Officers have a lawful authority to enforce the laws and ordinances of Oregon and the City of Redmond. Officers will always use all of their training, experience, and tools available to them to take a resisting subject into custody.”
Chambers said all use of force incidents are reviewed by Redmond Police command staff to ensure the response used was lawful and within policy. The review of this incident has just begun.
All information will be sent to the District Attorney’s Office for review and a charging decision. Video of this incident will not be released by the Redmond Police Department at this time.”
In late June, Redmond officers were involved in a scuffle after responding to a report of a drunk driver. The arrests were recorded and the cell phone videos were shared widely on social media.
However, Deschutes County DA John Hummel in early August cleared the officers – including Officer Holman – of any wrongdoing in that case, saying they acted appropriately for the situation.