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Ceres Police Mum On Officer Facing Assault Charge Stemming From April Arrest

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CERES (CBS13) — A Ceres Police officer is facing criminal charges after accusations of excessive force while making an arrest.

The officer-turned-suspect, Christopher Melton, came out of his home to tell us we weren’t welcome.

The nine-year veteran with the Ceres Police Department is facing a criminal assault charge brought by his own department.

The department isn’t going into much detail, saying it was in late April when Melton was attempting to arrest a suspect on the 1600 block of Evans Road. Another officer witnessed him using excessive force.

The officer would only tell us the name of his attorney. We called the law firm, but have yet to hear a response.

One of Melton’s neighbors said he’s had few issues with the officer.

“He’s been a good neighbor. I had an issue with him speeding one day. Ever since I talked to him, he’s slowed down.”

Ceres Police Chief Art de Werk issued a statement today that read in part:

“Officer Melton’s conduct, as alleged, does not reflect the values of Ceres Police Department or the law enforcement community as a whole. The fact that this incident was reported and is being examined in the context of criminal law, and internal departmental procedures, reminds us that the system does and can work to retain the public trust.”

According to a court clerk, Melton was likely never booked into jail and given a summons. The Stanislaus County District Attorney’s office confirmed Melton was never booked, but insist that is common for misdemeanor charges.

We wanted to ask the chief about this, but he declined to be interviewed on camera.

Melton will be in court on Aug. 15.

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