Police chief accused of striking fellow officer arraigned

BEND, Ore. (AP) — Sunriver Police Chief Marc Mills has made his first court hearing for allegations that he struck another police officer.

The Bend Bulletin reports that Mills was arraigned in court on Tuesday for the misdemeanor harassment charge he faces. The 62-year-old is accused of striking Joseph Patnode in the chest so hard the officer’s head hit a wall.

The physical altercation in December had been witnessed by a Sunriver Police administrative staff member and another Sunriver Police officer, Tiffany Hughes, who reported the incident to the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office.

Judge Bethany Flint ordered Mills to be conditionally released and have no contact with Patnode or Hughes. Mills did not appear in court, but was represented by Bend lawyer Erick Ward.

Ward declined to comment, citing an ongoing internal police investigation.