By Nicole Montesano • Staff Writer • 

City and county sued for excessive use of force

Courtesy KGW News

Hipolito Aranda, 48, is asking for $1 million in punitive damages from each of seven defendants, plus compensatory damages and legal fees. He alleges his Fourth Amendment rights were violated because he was arrested without probable cause and subjected to excessive force.

A federal district judge dismissed some parts of the complaint with respect to the sheriff’s office, due to the limited nature of its backup role, but retained claims of battery, municipal liability and excessive use of force. Judge Michael Simon also refused a county bid to have a damning internal affairs report thrown out.

The case went to settlement talks in early May, but they foundered. City Attorney Candace Haines said no further talks are scheduled at this point.

A court scheduling conference, to determine a trial date and other timelines, is on the docket for May 24.

In addition to Heidt, the instigator and principal protagonist, the lawsuit names Chief Ron Noble and Sgt. Cully Desmond from the police department and Sheriff Jack Crabtree and deputy Rich Broyles from the sheriff’s office.

Heidt remains on active duty, despite drawing a strongly worded rebuke in the second of two internal affairs investigations conducted three years after the fact in February.

An internal affairs investigation was completed at the time, leading to issuance of a report in May 2010. A second one was completed in February of this year, after an additional portion of the videotape of the incident was belatedly discovered. The resulting report was highly critical of Heidt.

McMinnville Chief Ron Noble declined to indicate whether Heidt had been disciplined, either at the time or later, saying he could not discuss the issue while the case remained under active litigation. But he acknowledged, “What happened on that night is extremely troublesome.

“People want a resolution today, but our system doesn’t allow for that. It doesn’t allow for that in the civil system, the legal system or the administrative system,” Noble said.

“As we believe this incident is a matter of public concern, our intent is to be able to provide more information necessary to ensure the public’s trust in their police department when the litigation is complete and we are able to discuss this incident.” He called that “a long way of just asking for patience — for people’s trust that the end result will be the correct one.”

The incident occurred in February 2010, after a police office not named in the lawsuit stopped a car in which Aranda was a passenger. That officer and Desmond found the driver intoxicated, and attempted to take her into custody; however she struggled with them.

According to the lawsuit, about 20 minutes into the stop, Aranda got out of the vehicle to ask officers if he could walk home. They ordered him back into the car.

He was in the process of complying, according to the complaint, or had returned to the car and was standing beside it, according to the new internal affairs report, when the officers called for assistance and Heidt, who had briefly dropped by earlier, responded.

Desmond stated over the radio that he just needed Heidt to keep an eye on Aranda. But according to the internal affairs report, which the city was forced to turn over to Aranda’s attorney under discovery rules, Heidt approached Aranda and began to frisk him.

The report notes Aranda is “not in a threatening stance” in the video, “nor does he appear to taking any interest in the struggle to his left.” It concludes that Heidt “had no probable cause” to arrest Aranda, and “lacked any legal authority to initiate or escalate his efforts” to take Aranda into custody.

According to the report, supported by newly obtained patrol car video:

Heidt addressed Aranda as he approached. The Spanish-speaking plaintiff, who understands little English, responded by taking his hands out of his pockets.

After Heidt lifted Aranda’s arms, the plaintiff dropped them to a 45 degree angle. Heidt responded by grabbing him under the shoulder, spinning him around and throwing him to the ground so hard his body visibly bounced.

“This entire sequence of events took six seconds,” Federal Judge Michael Simon wrote, after reviewing the video.

Aranda tried to break his fall with his free hand, then pulled his other arm away from Heidt and put both hands under his chest, on the ground in what the internal review describes as “a pushup position.”

Heidt began striking him, first in the side, as he tried to pull Aranda’s arm behind him, and then in the head.

As this occurred, deputy Broyles arrived. He ran up and began punching Aranda in the head and shoulder, then kneed him in the side while trying to get hold of his arm to handcuff him.

As Aranda tried to shield his head with a hand and arm, Desmond approached and tased him two or three times in the legs. Heidt then issued a call for medics over the radio, saying, “I had a subject combatively resist.”

The McMinnville Police Department’s internal affairs team concluded it should have been obvious that Aranda was trying to defend himself from being hit, rather than fighting back. It went on to conclude Heidt’s later written report contained “significant inconsistencies” from the newly surfaced video, and called it a matter “of great concern.”

Capt. Dennis Marks, who served on that team, said, “We … were unwilling to ascribe intentional deception or lying to Sgt. Heidt’s statements.” But he said, “We did note that the poor credibility of his testimony in this case is extremely troubling, even if not deceitful. This inconsistency of observation may warrant an additional investigation to determine whether the employee retains credibility to provide courtroom testimony.”

Marks said the second review was “based on the discovery of a video recording that had not been utilized or available” for the first review three years earlier.

The only video available for the initial review began at a point where Aranda was already on the ground. The new video captured Heidt’s actions from the moment he exited his vehicle.

Heidt, a 42-year-old McMinnville High graduate, joined the department in 1997. He was promoted to sergeant in 2009.

He was also involved in an incident in February 2012 — a drunken early-morning brawl outside a bar in Seaside. He left the scene before Seaside police arrived, but they later located and interviewed him.

The McMinnville Police Department placed him on administrative leave pending an internal investigation, but later returned him to duty. The chief declined to say whether any disciplinary action had been taken against him in connection with the off-duty fracas.

The Yamhill County Sheriff’s Office also conducted an internal review of the 2010 incident. Crabtree said in a deposition that he did so because Broyles’ actions raised concerns for him.

He said he ultimately concluded Broyles’ actions fell “within policy.” But federal Judge Michael Simon wrote in his ruling that the sheriff’s department considers the type of repeated blows Broyles delivered as “the most serious category of force short of deadly force,” and noted that “Broyles also acknowledged that he never heard Aranda utter any threats” and that “a jury could find that a reasonable officer should have determined that Aranda did not pose an immediate or serious threat.”

He wrote that “a reasonable jury could find that Aranda was given no opportunity to comply before Heidt and Broyles escalated the confrontation.”

He also noted that Aranda speaks Spanish “although he also understands some English.”

Aranda was charged with resisting arrest, and spent five days in jail. A jury acquitted him of all charges.



McMinnville police are known to use excessive force, its just that a lot of people are scared to say anything. The police here got a HUGE power trip. I mean is it really necessary for 4 police cars to show up and interrogate and harass people on a routine traffic stop? In my opinion the entire department needs to be investigated.

troy prouty

This is one of the reasons I don’t think it’s a good idea to mix Law enforcement with civil liberties, like we have done with McMinnville acting on behalf of the landlord. Personally I don’t like Businesses offered more in the way of “special” protection from the law when it is not offered to others within a community to everyone.

However this goes beyond that.

In my opinion the most abused law officers do is:
Investigative stops (which gives those being asked questions) the option to not answer and to leave. Vs Terry Stop (which is not legal in this State).

A person cannot be detained unless a certain criteria is met.

Often I hear this “We are not detaining you, we just need some information and to check on who you are before we let you leave” Well.. That is detaining under the law. Or what they call Seizure of one’s “self”. And it’s illegal.

The laws surrounding the authority of an Officer are different than a citizen, thus when you have an officer play both a citizen and officer. These rules collide and are basically conflicting under law. In this case if an officer was to do something inappropriately that leads to a violation of law (Terry stop) for example while acting on behalf of a landlord, there would be nothing stopping the court from not only holding the city accountable for the action of the officer but the property owner that signed giving the officer permission to act on his/her behalf. Thus both parties could be held liable under our system.



Obviously the district attorney has seen no crime committed. Move on folks nothing to see here.


The corrupt egotistical cops in our community will cost us tax payers millions before the people will finally get fed up and demand better professionalism.

troy prouty

I wonder if the News Register won a pulitzer prize for this?




When the rainy day fund was compromised when the markets were flourishing, That to me was the beginning of the end for PERS. Do you think if it weren't for that, the system may have held up? Who ever decided to line individuals accounts should be held accountable.

troy prouty

I believe all people should be held accountable for what they say and what they do Fletch.. This is why I use my name in posting for example.... I, however also realize that I am not responsible on how others interpt what I say and do(That is always theirs to own.) ... but also I must understand the consequences of how they interpt it in regards to how it could affect me both positive and negative in my view.

Posted "When the rainy day fund was compromised when the markets were flourishing, That to me was the beginning of the end for PERS. Do you think if it weren't for that, the system may have held up?"

I think that we are so use to instant gratification in the U.S.. We fail to think of long term consequences of actions we take today. We don't stop and think that good times might end for example.. And there are serious consequecnes surronding that. There are breaking points at many levels within our society, we must always be aware what they are.



Still trying to figure out what PERS has to do with an excessive force lawsuit????

troy prouty

I think fletch's point is that people in power, tend to promote causes that favor them and take advantage of a situation in which often lead to others misery. This at times might mean police officers for example in the case of Otto Zehm in Spokane, Employers threatening to fire someone if you don't go along with what they want (even if it is questionable behavior) and of course Government lining their pockets at the expense of tax payers.

Hope that helps..



It has been a long work week for me. That was ment for the other article. Sorry for the confussion...


This is interesting to me. I have witnessed first hand what I beleve to be the abuse of power by law enforcement. I wasn't assaulted and bludgeoned like this guy, but it is a more insidious abuse of power. When people stand up for their beleifs and become a target or a focal point of law enforcement because it differs from theirs, watch out and pay close attention. You may need to retain a lawyer to equal the playing feild...


What Fletch said in response is a perfectly legitimate and understandable explanation.

The best response that I have seen so far was by c.Kernel.
While it certainly appears Heidt is in an indefensible position, as far as the lawsuit goes, it would be nice to have the full facts before the entire police department, Sheriff's Office, OSP, the boy scouts and the girl scouts are lined up against the wall and shot.

The news article alleges several things, such as Heidt addressing Aranda as he approached him. The short video clip starts after the approach starts and the audio is omitted. What does the entire video show and where is the audio? Is this deliberate because Aranda said something inappropriate? Did Aranda make an obscene gesture and they cut it out because it didn't fit the narrative? See, there are two sides to even a conspiracy game. Remember, I have already said that it "appears" Heidt is in an indefensible position.

We have to remember this article is based mostly on a plaintiffs lawsuit that is asking for a lot of money. Do you really think he is going to include glowing recommendations of the police in his lawsuit and then turn around and ask for $1 Mil because "they were good guys and did nothing wrong"?

From his attorney, "He also noted that Aranda speaks Spanish “although he also understands some English.” Sympathy ploy? Is he or the reporter trying to imply something here. From the video I would say he probably SPEAKS some English too! Does Heidt speak Spanish? No info on that.

Sometimes it may be best to keep an open mind and not decide the issue based on just one side of the story. Again, from just the info in this article, Heidt is "toast", but I'm still waiting for the "rest of the story". Unfortunately, the City's insurance company may settle this though so we may never know the rest of it.


Unless officer Heidt has been or is to be accused of an inappropriate use of force with some underlying racial component involved in his treatment specifically of Hipolito, the use of the phrase "A Latino man..." was unnecessary, and in my opinion, perhaps even outright inflammatory.

Just my opinion, not that my opinion matters.


More information may come out, but at this point I would say your opinion is pretty accurate.

There seems to be no mention of it in the lawsuit and there has apparently been no allegations of civil rights violations filed with DOJ.

They are so quick to point out "A Latino man" but they did not mention why this is important to a NEWS article unless they are trying to do as you said. There again they didn't mention immigration status so perhaps it was just a mistake that was missed by the editors?

Rather interesting though as I don't recall any reference to race being made or anything else denoting race in the "Surveillance photos trigger arrest" story, "Driving spree lands Linfielder in jail" - nope, not mentioned in this story either, Hmmmm, missed any mention of race in this story too, "Cafeteria thief to pay back $50,000". Wait, how about this one, "Suspects sought in rock quarry heist". Nope guess not. Closest they come is "The suspects are described as three males, one featuring a distinctive ponytail extending down to the middle of his back." Is there a pattern here?

You know, c.Kernel, in retrospect, you may just have a point!


I really can't see see @ this race point has to do with a human rights issue. The guy looked like he was subdued when he hit the deck. Actually, he looked like he was in a submissive posture before he was directed to the ground. I don't know if anyone is aware of the size and stature of the officer in question, But really... Two guys beating the crap out of this dude then a tazer shot for good measure, these guys should be evaluated to say the least! No wonder people have a seperation from law enforcment.


You are right Fletch. It is a human rights issue and nothing more.

However, the author of the article felt it necessary to start her article out with her very first words pointing out race. In at least four other recent NR articles depicting crime and violence, no mention of race was made. We are simply asking why the author and the editors thought it appeared to be so relevant to this article and not the others?

The question here is not race and should have nothing to do with race. The question is why Heidt felt any type of force at all was justified or needed.


An opening statement such as 'A Green eyed ginger man who suffered a broken elbow and ribs after Sgt. Tim Heidt threw him to the ground and punched him repeatedly....' would have drawn the same comment from myself.

Now I would ask Nicole Montesano of the News-Register a simple question, why?


I understand. Just a little taken back by the whole thing... It is sickening to me and as a citizen, I must understand why people like this are protecting me. I feel safe and can sleep well knowing we have officers like this on our streets. I'm know criminologist but I have always thought a murderer who kills people with his or hers bare hands has a personal intamit need to fofill. I would have to ask the question, what personal need are these officers fofilling.


1) No, we didn't deliberately alter the video to present a point of view. No, we are not engaged in a "conspiracy game." I find that a patently offensive allegation, and one utterly without any foundation on your part.
The video is from a squad car. It did not come with sound. The version you saw came directly out of the court file. It was obtained and first posted by KGW. We obtained KGW's copy with permission and posted it untouched. What you are seeing is what all of the investigators, lawyers and other parties saw.
2) We include references to ethnicity and language ability when they seem to be POTENTIALLY relevant. We don't ultimately make that call. It is ultimately made in a legal sense by the criminal justice system and in the broader sense by the general public.
We are consistent in that practice. It was not potentially relevant in the other stories you cited, so was not included.
It's not race, by the way, as Latinos and Anglos both belong to the Caucasion race. It is ethnicity or heritage we are addressing.
3) It is not just ethnic discrimination that could be at play. It could be selection of vulnerable victims by someone with a bully mentality.
A short, physically unimposing Latino man in his 50s, who has displayed a limited command of English, might well seem an inviting target. It would be easy to surmise he might be in the country illegally, lack significant financial means and lack the knowledge and confidence to press a grievance effectively.
By the same token, if I were picking a bar fight in Seaside, I might well single out a man who was several inches shorter, 120 pounds lighter and hampered by a broken arm encased in a cast.
I see a POTENTIAL pattern there totally outside the realm of ethnicity per se.
Steve Bagwell, Managing Editor


One other point on the inclusion or ethnicity and language information:
In fact, I doubt very much that the victim here would ever have filed an internal affairs complaint, let alone a federal civil rights suit, if the powers that be had not decided to prosecute him for a criminal charge of resisting arrest. They were thereby required to supply him with an attorney, and that, I'm willing to bet, is what set this chain of events in motion.
Could there have been other like victims who, because, say, they were in the country illegally or lacked English language ability, chose to simply lick their wounds and move on? This particular victim is, in fact, a legal resident. Could there be others who were not? I don't know, but I can certainly see that would be possible.
Also, let me point out we also provide other types of background context in stories, such as the the Linfield College enrollment and Linfield football team membership of the drunken driving spree suspect. We try to include ANY context that we feel readers might want to take into account in their own analysis.
That being the case, I think our inclusion of the ethnicity and language information in the excessive force stories was both consistent and relevant.


Steve, I'd asked a simple question and you've answered it. Thank you.

That was a thoughtful response to my query, but then you went on to add;

"By the same token, if I were picking a bar fight in Seaside, I might very well single out a man who was several inches shorter, 120 pounds lighter and hampered by a broken arm encased in a cast." ~Steve Bagwell, Managing Editor

I gotta say, over all the years I've been a reader, I've read some pretty amazing and self-revealing statements, here, on the N-R's website...but WOW!...really?


I assume you are being facetious.
My reference, of course, was to Officer Heidt's alleged attack in Seaside on someone with a broken are who was several inches shorter and 120 pounds lighter, according to the police report. The report said Heidt threw the guy through the air. It seemed to me there might be the makings of a pattern there in picking opponents promising to not put up too much of a fight or pose too much of a problem afterward.
If you think your opponent lacks money, means, might, high-placed friends, inside knowledge of the system, English language ability and perhaps even legal residency, you might be inclined to worry less about busting several of his ribs. That was my point.
As for myself, I don't frequent anything stronger than the occasional brew pub or wine tasting room. I don't drink much period. It just doesn't much interest me.
As a consequence of that, and a penchant for minding my own business, I can't say as I've ever gotten into a bar fight. Didn't ever manage that even when I was back in my 20s and 30s.
But thanks for the concern.


You're welcome, and thank you for the clarification. For a moment back there, Chief, I'd thought for sure you'd finally done earned yourself a nomination for a 'Dutton Peabody' award, if not outright plagiarised some obscure Joe Biden quote.

Web Design & Web Development by LVSYS