BEND, Ore. - (Updated to add terms of community service, still on paid leave)
Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel said Friday he's dropped a harassment charge filed against an off-duty Deschutes County sheriff's deputy who grabbed and bruised a woman's arm after a fender-bender parking lot crash on Christmas Eve.
Hummel said the charge was dismissed based on Bradley Wright's entry into and completion of his office's early disposition program.
Wright had been charged with one count of harassment based on the allegation that on Dec. 24, Wright, 40, unlawfully grabbed the arm of the 67-year old woman driving a car he struck in the parking lot of Fred Meyer on South Highway 97.
Wright was accused of grabbing and bruising the woman's arm "without provocation" after both drivers got out of their cars to talk and assess the damage.
Hummel said the early disposition program is available to suspects with no significant criminal history who are charged with certain misdemeanor offenses.
"The purpose of the program is to hold offenders accountable for their crimes, ensure prompt resolution of criminal matters, protect the rights of the public and the offender, and maximize the use of community resources to provide alternative sanctions to criminal behavior in an effort to reduce costs to the criminal justice system," Hummel said in a news release..
Wright entered into the program at his first court appearance and quickly completed the community service that was required of him, the DA said. He told NewsChannel 21 Wright spent eight hours shoveling snow to fulfill his community service
Sheriff Shane Nelson said Wright remains on paid administrative leave, pending the outcome of an internal investigation.
Hummel had earlier said Wright's position playing no role in the charging decision. He said the same Friday about his decision to drop the harassment charge.
"The fact Wright is a Deschutes County sheriff’s deputy had no bearing on the resolution of this case,” Hummel said
“Mr. Wright was offered the option to enter into the early disposition program. just like any defendant would have been," he said. "Police officers should not be treated better than other defendants, nor should they be treated worse.”