Redmond reserve officer under investigation

Confrontation with transient caught on camera

POSTED: 7:11 PM PDT September 4, 2013    UPDATED: 10:41 PM PDT September 5, 2013 
BEND, Ore. -

A Redmond reserve officer, under investigation, and could be charged with assault. After he is caught on camera hitting a Bend transient with the back of an ax.

Brian Alvarez of Redmond was off-duty last week at the time of the incident. But he pulled in to Lava Lanes in northeast Bend just as a transient was being kicked off the property.That's when things started getting tense, and it was all caught on camera.

"I don't want to argue with you," Bend transient Michael Coleman Irby is heard saying on the video of the incident shot by a viewer.

"You need to exit the property," Alvarez responds. "You've been trespassing the property. Either leave or get arrested for trespassing -- your choice."

Alvarez and Irby exchange words in the beginning of the video. But it isn't until Alvarez tries to physically remove Irby that things get violent.

"Get off of the property!" says Alvarez as he grabs Irby in the video.

"Now you've put your hands on me!" says Irby.

"Don't you reach for that!" says Alvarez as he believes Irby starts to reach for a small ax.

"I can throw it!" Irby says as Alvarez takes his ax from him.

In the video, you see Alvarez take an ax from Irby's belt, and when Irby slaps his arm, Alvarez hits him with the back of the ax.

Just a few minutes later, he does it again.

Bend police, located just across the street from the bowling alley, responded before things escalated any further.

At this point, no arrests have been made in the case. Bend and Redmond police are investigating what happened.

Redmond police would not comment specifically Wednesday on the rights Alvarez has a reserve officer. They only stated he is under investigation, and is not working now.

"What will happen -- there is an investigation (that) will be done, and when it's completed and it's through, it will be handed to the (Deschutes County) District Attorney's Office to decide on what charges are going to be pressed on whoever," said Bend police Lt. Chris Carney.

If the district attorney decides Alvarez was in the wrong, Carney says he could face felony assault charges. Irby also faces trespass charges.

'I'd hate to see this looked at as a representative of Redmond (police)," said Carney. "I think this is a citizen who saw an issue, who intervened. If he took it too far, that will be for the district attorney and for a court to decide down the road."

Lava Lanes owner Les Mombert said in a statement to NewsChannel 21: "I think the focus is focused too much on the officer He stepped in and defused a situation that could have gone a different way, because he (the transient) was belligerent and had a hatchet."

We checked into what exactly reserve officers are in Redmond. They have the same training as a police officer, but are not paid.

In Oregon, law enforcement can have police powers 24/7, but when it comes to reserve officers, it is department-based. Again, Redmond police wouldn't comment on the case.