NewsCovering Kern County


A Bakersfield Police Department Assistant Chief of Police on administrative leave pending domestic violence investigation

Posted at 3:57 PM, Sep 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-05 02:50:12-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — A Bakersfield Police Department's Assistant Chief of Police has been placed on administrative leave after an alleged domestic violence incident at the VIP Lounge.

BPD said on Wednesday around 12 a.m. officers were called to the lounge's parking lot located on California Avenue for a welfare check on a woman. Investigators found that the woman was a victim of a domestic violence incident involving Evan Demestihas who is an Assistant Chief of Police for the Bakersfield Police Department.

On Wednesday, officials obtained an arrest warrant for Demestihas for a felony charge of Domestic Assault. He surrendered himself to the Taft City jail and has been booked.

BPD confirmed that Demestihas will be placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the criminal and administrative investigations.

In a press conference Wednesday, BPD Police Information Officer Sgt. Nathan McCauley stated that the victim had visible marks following the incident, but nothing that needed to be treated by a medical professional. McCauley was unaware if the victim was seen by a medical professional.

“His thoughts are with the victim and with the parties involved here," said McCauley. "The main message is any of these investigations are taking absolutely serious regardless of the person involved and will be investigated thoroughly and if evidence shows that someone needs to be arrested then they will be arrested.”

In a statement Bakersfield Chief of Police Lyle Martin, who is currently out of town but is headed back to Bakersfield, said:

“We take all domestic violence cases very seriously. The Bakersfield Police Department will conduct a thorough and complete investigation into this matter. No one is above the law.”

It has also been confirmed that Demestihas is a part-time lecturer in Criminal Justice at CSU Bakersfield. The school told 23ABC that it has just learned about the incident and is "gathering facts at this time."

Anyone with information regarding this investigation is encouraged to call Detective Peter Beagley at (661) 326-3514 or the Bakersfield Police Department at (661) 327- 7111.