A Portland police officer has been charged with misdemeanor assault concerning an on-duty incident that occurred in May, the department said Wednesday.

Officer Christopher Crout is on paid administrative leave following the incident May 2. The case is being handled by the Attorney General’s Office.

“After a standard Portland Police Department review of the incident by first line supervisors and the command staff, an investigation was initiated,” Portland police said in a written statement. “The department contacted the Cumberland County District Attorney and the Attorney General to review whether the actions of the officer may have been criminal.”

Crout, 30, has been employed by the police department since January 2019.

Portland police regularly distribute information to the media and public about the circumstances of noteworthy arrests. But the department refused to release any further information about Crout’s case, the nature of the alleged assault or why they believed the incident needed review.

In the past, top police leaders have said the department does a multi-step review, starting with line supervisors, of every use-of-force case, to ensure police follow policy and to look for ways to improve training. In this case, it’s not clear whether the alleged assault was first reported by Crout as a permissible use of force or occurred under different circumstances.

Major Robert Martin of the Portland Police Department refused to describe where the alleged assault took place, who was injured or what brought Crout into contact with the other person. Attorney General Aaron Frey did not respond to the same questions.

A member of the Attorney General’s Office staff said Crout will be arraigned Feb. 9 in Portland Unified Criminal Court.

A case file for Crout offered no details about the incident and did not include a narrative report, only a signed complaint from Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office investigator Detective Lt. Paul Thorpe dated Jan. 14. It was put on the court docket and became a public record on Wednesday.


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