CERES (CBS13) – A Ceres police officer is being charged with using excessive force while arresting a suspect.
The accusations stem from an incident on April 13, 2013 when Officer Christopher Melton allegedly assaulted the suspect while taking the suspect into custody in the 1600 block of Evans Road. Another officer reported the alleged misconduct to a supervisor, which led to an investigation, according to a Ceres Police Department statement Tuesday.
Melton was placed on paid administrative leave during the internal affairs investigation, which has been handed over to the Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office.
Ceres’ Chief of Police issued this statement: “While these circumstances, as reported, are very unfortunate, it is highly appropriate that what took place on April 13th is being handled by the District Attorney’s Office. 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.”
Melton is a 9-year veteran of the department.
Melton is one of seven officers who responded to party at a home in 2007 in which partygoers alleged officers roughed them in 2007, according to the Modesto Bee. Police were called to the home after receiving reports of noise violations. Several people at the home claim officers dragged women from the home by their hair, used a taser on a man and pepper sprayed him while he was handcuffed.
The Ceres Police Department declined to comment on the latest investigation.