Milton-Freewater police officer Brian David Scott faces felony charges after Oregon State Police reported that he assaulted a man in handcuffs.
Scott, 37, appeared via video Thursday afternoon from the Umatilla County Jail for his arraignment at the county courthouse, both in Pendleton. The district attorney’s office charged Scott with second-degree assault, unlawful use of a weapon and first-degree official misconduct. The weapon charge is for using a wall to inflict harm, according to the charging document.
Attorney Robert Klahn represented Scott and entered pleas of not guilty to the three counts. Circuit Judge Lynn Hampton set a preliminary hearing for Scott on Oct. 25.
Milton-Freewater Police Chief Doug Boedigheimer asked the state police Criminal Investigations Division to investigate Scott for possible misconduct following an arrest he made Monday, according to a written statement Thursday from state police.
Scott arrested Jeffery Allen Fields, 46, of Milton-Freewater, for theft and brought him to the Milton-Freewater Police Department for processing. OSP detectives found Scott walked a handcuffed Fields to the processing area inside the police department and pushed him in the back.
“The arrestee fell forward and struck his head on a concrete wall,” the report read.
The victim required treatment at a local hospital for injuries to his scalp and vertebrae.
“Video surveillance from within the police department corroborated the evidence detectives obtained to that point,” state police also reported.
However, the agency stated it would not release the video until the investigation is complete. State police, though, did not provide an estimate on how long that could take.
State police on Wednesday arrested Scott for second-degree assault and second-degree official misconduct and booked him into jail in Pendleton, where he remained until after Thursday’s arraignment at about 1:30 p.m.
Jail staff confirmed for the court that Scott at noon posted $5,000 to get out, not quite 10 percent of the $55,000 bond the arrest triggered. District Attorney Dan Primus said Scott posted bail, so the jail could not keep him. He also agreed with Hampton the amount was appropriate for the charges.
Hampton prohibited Scott from contacting Fields and from having guns and ammunition. Scott, who lives in Milton-Freewater, also agreed to waive extradition so he could take his children to see their doctor in nearby Walla Walla.
Hampton also asked Scott if he could afford his own attorney. He replied he could not. She ordered him to come to the courthouse within 36 hours to determine if he qualified to have a public defender.
Milton-Freewater hired Scott in early September 2014, according to city records, and he made about $50,300 in 2015.
Boedigheimer in an email said Scott has been on administrative leave since Tuesday, the day after the incident, and the city will consult with its legal counsel “regarding options available to us at this point.”