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Clackamas County man sues Sandy police, top city officials

by: Contributed photo, Juan Miguel Rubio seeks $100,000 from Sandy police officer Kalen Taylor.

Sandy-area resident Juan Rubio has filed a lawsuit in Clackamas County Court against Kalen 'K.T.' Taylor of the Sandy Police Department for intentionally causing him mental anguish.

The lawsuit accuses Taylor of threatening Rubio during several incidents in the past two years. He seeks $100,000 for emotional distress.

Rubio's attorney was unavailable for comment, and Taylor declined to comment on the specific allegations made in the pending lawsuit.

Speaking generally, Taylor said, 'There's some stuff he's saying that concerns me. There's a lot of mistruths.'

In the lawsuit filed June 19, Rubio alleges that he was 'the target of verbal threats, intimidation and harassment' from Taylor during specific incidents in 2004, 2005 and 2006.

Rubio's first cited encounter was on June 25, 2004, when he responded to a supermarket parking lot where his son, Carlos, was with several Sandy police officers, including Taylor, during a minor traffic stop.

When Rubio arrived to assist his son, the suit claims, Taylor screamed at him and Carlos, 'referring to them as 'homies.' ' Carlos later claimed that Taylor threatened to kill him during that encounter, a claim refuted by Officer Ernie Roberts, who was on the scene.

Rubio's second stated encounter with Taylor was on May 27, 2005, the date Carlos was found guilty of eluding police during an incident the year before.

He said that while at the Clackamas County Courthouse, Taylor 'screamed' at him, saying, 'I'm warning you, Mr. Rubio, you're not going to like what's going to happen to you.'

Rubio said he complained about the first two encounters with Taylor to Mayor Linda Malone, City Manager Scott Lazenby, Police Chief Harold Skelton and other police officers, 'but no remedial or disciplinary actions were ever taken' against Taylor, the suit papers claimed.

In an editorial comment, the written complaint explains that Rubio 'was also aware of the reputation of (Taylor) for violence, brutality, intimidation and harassment towards other individuals in the Sandy community.'

That supposed reputation, Rubio claims, made him 'live in constant fear that (Taylor) would carry out his threats against him.'

He also says that the experience made him 'especially susceptible to severe mental and emotional distress' due to that fear.

On June 5, 2005, just nine days after the elude verdict was handed down, Carlos Rubio disappeared from his sister's Northeast Portland home.

Searchers found his sister's car, which Carlos was driving, in the Ripplebrook area of the Mount Hood National Forest, near Estacada.

After numerous searches of the forest, Carlos' body wasn't found until a bow hunter spotted it last September in an area the Rubio family claims already was searched.

On many occasions Rubio has indicated that he believes Sandy police had something to do with the disappearance of his son, although he and other family members previously indicated that Carlos was depressed and suicidal in the wake of the trial.

The third encounter mentioned in the lawsuit occurred March 10, 2006, when Rubio encountered Taylor at a grocery store parking lot. He said that Taylor, off-duty at the time, blocked his walking path with his white pickup.

Sandy Police told The Post that Rubio had traveled to Taylor's house and frightened his wife.

Through the truck's window, Rubio alleged, Taylor screamed for Rubio to 'quit (expletive) with my wife or I'll (expletive) you up,' and, 'I'm gonna get you, you little sucker.'

Rubio says that as a direct result of his encounters with Taylor, Rubio 'suffered severe mental and emotional distress, fear, humiliation, embarrassment, anxiety, loss of reputation and inconvenience,' which totals non-economic damages of $100,000.

Taylor said he will be represented by a lawyer provided by the city, and plans to countersue Rubio for unwanted contact, harassment and libelous comments.

'I've had a long career as a police officer,' Taylor said. 'I think I need to look after my reputation.'

Rubio also has filed a complaint in federal court against Taylor, the city of Sandy, Chief Skelton, Malone, City Lazenby and former Sgt. Mike Helton, among others, for what was deemed a wrongful arrest during last year's Sandy Mountain Festival parade.

At the beginning of the parade, Rubio approached Skelton - who was the parade's grand marshal - and yelled at him, asking him, 'Where is my son?' and comparing the Sandy police to Nazis, according to multiple reports.

Sandy police officers arrested Rubio after Skelton indicated that he felt threatened by Rubio's actions.

A Clackamas County judge eventually found Rubio not guilty of disorderly conduct, menacing or any wrongdoing, noting that Rubio was exercising his First Amendment rights.

Rubio has now filed a civil rights complaint against the city and its top officials in response to that incident.

Lazenby said that as far as he's aware, Rubio has not formally filed a lawsuit against the city officials.

The civic employees turned over their notice of summons to the city's insurance attorneys.