The Marion County Sheriff’s Office has reassigned a deputy who punched a man as he was held to the ground, outside a search-and-rescue operation center at Detroit Lake.

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Chemawa Indian School

Chemawa is supposed to offer an academic home preparing students for college or careers in a safe and stable place. But an OPB investigation found the school is breaking its promise.

As recently as a few weeks ago, the deputy involved — Jake Thompson — was part of the small police force at Chemawa Indian School. The federally-run boarding school has had a contract with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office for more than a decade. The team of deputies has logged hundreds of responses to student violence and other police calls, according to police records obtained in the course of OPB’s extensive investigation of problems at Chemawa.

In video captured by KGW, Thompson is seen punching a man police identified as 28-year-old Kevin Straw. The video includes about a dozen punches or hand strikes, while Straw is being held on the ground by other deputies.

Straw yells, “I am not resisting, I am not resisting,” as Thompson strikes him.

The incident occurred near Detroit Lake, where emergency responders were coordinating a rescue effort for a missing father and son who were later found.

Officials say Straw repeatedly disrupted the search-and-rescue planning efforts with warnings of cougars and other dangers in the area.

Straw is heard mentioning cougars at the beginning of the video. Shortly after that, deputies told Straw to put his hands behind his back. Straw hesitated and said something to deputies that’s not clearly audible in the KGW recording. Deputies responded by tackling Straw to the ground, followed by Thompson punching him repeatedly in the back of the head.

Deputies confiscated a knife from Straw, whom the Marion County Sheriff’s Office identified as a “transient” living near Detroit, Oregon. Authorities said Straw was taken for medical treatment and psychological evaluation and was being charged with interfering with police and resisting arrest.

The Marion County Sheriff’s Office announced late Tuesday that Thompson was being taken off patrol duty for the time being.  

“Thompson has been temporarily reassigned within the Enforcement division to a non-patrol assignment until the review of the arrest is completed,” said a statement from the Marion County Sheriff’s Office.

The sheriff’s office statement mentions the involvement of three other deputies “assigned to patrol in the Enforcement division,” but none of them has been reassigned.