BONNEY LAKE -- A judge has ordered a police officer with a checkered past to steer clear of a man and a woman he arrested. As a result, Officer James Keller may not even be able to answer calls near the pair's home.
But the man who was arrested says he was pounded and pummeled by the very man he thought was supposed to protect him.
Ronald Bobbitt and his sister say they saw a police car tailing them as they turned down their driveway in the early hours of March 13, 2010.
Bobbitt says he stopped before reaching his house. The police became suspicious, and that set off a violent confrontation.
"Drug me out of the frickin' car, and slung me around here," said Bobbitt.
Bobbitt suffered contusions on his head, and bumps and bruises elsewhere during his arrest.
"All he wanted to know was why we stopped in the road. (We) said, 'It's not the road; it's our driveway,'" said Melissa Smith St. John, Bobbitt's sister.
The two were booked into jail for resisting arrest and obstruction of an officer. They were so afraid for their safety that they applied for a protection order against Keller.
A judge found discrepancies in the officer's report, and granted the protection order, agreeing it would be best for everyone if Keller stayed away. The judge issued a 90-day restraining order on May 3.
"Why he has so much anger, why he does what he does scares me," said Bobbitt.
Keller says he was on the lookout for drug trafficking, saw Bobbitt turning without using his signal, and went to investigate.
"That's what I was doing on that street was being a good cop," he said. "All he had to do was just be normal and nice, and everything would have gone smooth. And I would have moved on."
Bonney Lake police refused to comment on this case or discuss Keller's past.
Six years ago, Keller, then a King County deputy, was charged with assaulting an informant. He was later cleared, but still received a 20-day suspension from the sheriff.
Keller was also involved in a fatal shooting of a Federal Way man in 2003. He was later pressured to resign from the sheriff's office.
Bobbitt says there's little evidence Keller has changed his ways since coming to Bonney Lake.
"They have a pattern of hiring these rogue cops," he said.
Bobbitt and his sister still face criminal charges from the incident.
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