A Philomath man arrested for domestic assault Saturday allegedly tried to bribe a police officer with chewing tobacco and money if he would take him home rather than to jail, according to the Philomath Police Department.
Edward Blair Haines, 54, faces charges of fourth-degree assault constituting domestic violence, a misdemeanor, and bribe giving, a felony, Benton County Circuit Court records show.
Officers responded about 8:40 p.m. Saturday to the 100 block of Jade Place in Philomath, Police Chief Ken Rueben said. Haines’s 64-year-old wife had called police there. The woman’s right eye had fresh bruising and swelling and she told officers Haines had punched her, Rueben said.
Police arrested Haines and took him to Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center for a breath test. Haines had a blood alcohol concentration of over 0.20 percent, Rueben said. Officers then took Haines to the Benton County Jail.
Along the way, Haines allegedly offered the officer, Kevin Frahm, chewing tobacco if the policeman would take him home rather than to jail, Rueben said. Frahm told Haines “no,” the police chief said. Haines then allegedly offered the officer $200 if the policeman would take Haines home and forget about the arrest. After Frahm again declined, Haines allegedly upped the ante to $250, Rueben said.
“At that point he was just persisting in trying to bribe the officer, so the officer decided to charge him with it,” the police chief said.
Haines appeared Monday in Circuit Court via videoconferencing from the jail. Judge Matthew Donohue appointed defense attorney Clark Willes to represent Haines. Willes entered not guilty pleas to the charges on his client’s behalf.
Deputy District Attorney Amie Matusko said she had concerns about Haines being released from jail because he had two prior convictions for fourth-degree assault. The prosecutor said she was also concerned about Haines’s attempt to bribe a police officer.
The judge said he understood the prosecutor’s concerns but that the Benton County Jail had 38 inmates and was too full to hold Haines. Donohue released Haines on the conditions that he consume no drugs or alcohol and have no contact with the alleged victim.