The Kozowski Files

Deschutes County Sheriff Responds to Federal Lawsuit from Former Deputy

Former Deschutes County Sheriff’s Deputy Eric Kozowski filed a formal complaint in federal court against both the county and Sheriff L. Shane Nelson last February, citing retaliation, whistleblowing and wrongful discharge.

On Friday, Sheriff Nelson released his official answer that was filed in federal court.

Central Oregon Daily’s Anyssa Bohanan has details on the sheriff’s response.

Take a Knee

Police Brutality and Racial Profiling Protests Hit Close to Home

A Madras teenager says Colin Kaepernick and other NFL players were an inspiration for his recent protest of police brutality and racial profiling during the National Anthem at an assembly at Madras High School. His protest came only a few weeks before the NFL officials announced they would be requiring players to stand during the National Anthem or the entire team would be fined.

Central Oregon Daily’s Lisa Carton and Anyssa Bohanan have more on the NFL’s decision and why one Central Oregon teen chose to take a knee.

Active Threat Training

Ten people, two teachers and eight students, were shot and killed in a high school in Santa Fe, Texas on Friday when 17-year-old Dimitrios Pagourtzis opened fire in Santa Fe High School. The shooting is the 22nd school shooting this year that involved injuries or fatalities.

While the events that unfolded on Friday are tragic, authorities say it could’ve been worse if not for the two armed resource offices inside the school who engaged with Pagourtzis.

Instances like the one in Santa Fe are the reason that emergency responders prepare themselves with active shooter trainings like the one at Sisters High School on Saturday.

Deschutes County first responders, including Sisters-Camp Sherman Fire, U.S. Forest Service and Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office, all participated in the drill. Central Oregon Daily’s Anyssa Bohanan has more on the training.

Blouin Indicted on Felony Charges

Brandon Blouin, the 25-year-old Ohio man who was arrested after the disappearance and frantic search for his one-year-old son, was back in court on Monday on felony charges. In court on Monday Blouin was indicted on a felony charge of possessing body armor. That is on top of charges of child neglect, abandonment of a child, endangering the welfare of a minor, and custodial interference –which he was indicted on in court last week. Blouin will remain in Deschutes County Jail and is scheduled to enter a plea for these charges on June 11.

After the frantic search for one-year-old Bradley Michael Thomas on May 10, Blouin was taken to the hospital and then booked into jail on May 12.

In attendance at Monday’s hearing was Bradley’s mother Katelin Thomas, Bradley’s grandmother Mellisa Jordan and Bradley’s aunt Lindsie Thomas. The was the first time Katelin had seen Blouin since Bradley’s disappearance and the first time Mellisa and Lindsie had seen him since a protection order was granted last October.

Katelin and her mother were visibly upset when Blouin appeared on the screen in the courtroom. Katelin has alleged that Blouin had threatened to hurt her family and had abused both her and Bradley as they traveled from West Virginia to Oregon.

Mellisa, Bradley’s grandmother said she hopes to take her daughters and her grandson home so they can be a family again. Bradley is currently in a foster home.

Family of Baby Bradley Testifies to Grand Jury

The mother, grandmother and aunt of one-year-old Bradley Micheal Thomas, the child found in the woods near China Hat Road in Bend late last week, testified Wednesday at the Deschutes County Circuit Court.

The family’s testimony may lead to more changes against Brandon Blouin, the biological father of Bradley. Blouin already has a number of charges against him related to the disapearence and subsequent search for Bradley.

Bradley’s mother, 19-year-old Katelin Thomas, alleges that Blouin abused Bradley and her and forced them to leave their home in West Virginia.

Lost Toddler Placed in State Custody

Bradley Michael Thomas, the toddler who was found in the woods south of Bend on Thursday morning, is now officially in the custody of the state after being removed from his parents following the arrest of the baby’s father.

One-year-old Bradley was miraculously found unharmed Thursday afternoon after he’d been missing for nearly six hours along China Hat Road in Bend.

According to Deschutes County Sheriff Shane Nelson, Bradley was located alone and naked nearly a mile northeast of the vehicle the toddler was living in with his parents. The detective who found Bradley took him in an ambulance to St. Charles Hospital, where the child stayed until this afternoon.

The Sheriff’s Office said Friday that Bradley is doing well and is currently in the care of the Department of Human Services.

The Central Oregon community quickly came together following news of Bradley’s disappearance and has continued the outpouring of support for the toddler. Due to this outpouring the Sheriff’s Office is now accepting donations of clothing and other items to give to Bradley until he has a permanent home.

Bradley’s father, 25-year-old Brandon Blouin, was placed under arrest and charged with criminal mistreatment, neglect, endangering the welfare of a minor and an assault charge police say is associated with an injury Bradley likely received prior to going missing while in his parents’ care.

Blouin has a long history of run-ins with the law across multiple state lines and, according to Bradley’s extended family, a history of abuse towards Bradley’s mother Katelin.

Bradley’s maternal grandmother and aunt, who live in West Virginia, have been searching for Bradley for months. Bradley’s grandmother Mellisa Jordan said she was granted full custody of Bradley in March, but in early February Katelin requested a play date with Bradley and never returned.

The family heard nothing of Bradley’s whereabouts for three months, and while they haven’t been able to see Bradley, Jordan did hear from Blouin on Friday when they were both dialed in to a custody hearing at the Deschutes County Courthouse.

Jordan said Blouin sounded distressed, just as he did on Thursday after Bradley’s rescue, however Jordan said this show of emotion is nothing but manipulation.

The family hopes to be reunited with little Bradley soon, but for now he will be put in foster care.

Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office and Redmond Police are accepting donations for Bradley while he is in state custody. They said they are in need of any clothing size 18 months, shoes size 6 to 7, and size 7 diapers.

Search and Rescue of One-Year-Old Boy Leads to Arrest

Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office has arrested a 25-year-old man in connection with a frantic search for a missing one-year-old boy south of Bend off China Hat Road on Thursday morning.

Central Oregon Daily’s Anyssa Bohanan was there when a Deschutes County Sheriff’s detective found Bradley Michael Thomas naked and cold, but safe, in the woods.

Thomas is in good condition after being evaluated at St. Charles Hospital, and he is now in the custody of the Department of Human Services.

25-year-old Brandon Blouin has been arrested in connection for his involvement in Thomas’ disappearance. Blouin is being charged with Criminal Mistreatment I, Neglect II, Endangering the Welfare of a Minor, and an Assault Charge for an injury that authorities believe happened while Thomas was in Blouin’s care.

Downtown Bend Farmer’s Market Opens Early This Year

We usually have to wait until June for farmer’s markets to get underway in Central Oregon. Yet this year, some of the farmers asked to get an early start, so the Downtown Bend Farmer’s Market is already up and running on Wednesdays.

Central Oregon Daily’s Anyssa Bohanan headed down to Brooks Alley to see what local farmers have to offer this season.

The Downtown Bend Farmer’s Market is every Wednesday in Brooks Alley behind the Tower Theatre from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. through October 10th. The Northwest Crossing Farmer’s Market will run on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. beginning June 16th through September 15th. The Eastside Bend Farmer’s Market starts on July 5th and runs every Thursday in the Whole Foods east lot from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. through September 27th.

#AvrynStrong Fundraisers Held in Bend

Fundraisers were held all around town to support, Avryn, a boy from Bend injured in a car wreck.

The Bend community came out-in-force on Saturday to support a 10-year-old boy who is still recovering from an horrific accident on the parkway. Central Oregon Daily’s Anyssa Bohanan joins us with a look at how much money was raised at the events.

10-year-old Avryn Hayes, a local Bend boy who was involved in a head-on collision on the parkway on April 19th, is on his way to recovery at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland. The family is facing medical bills, including $69,000 in air flight charges that is not covered by insurance.

As soon as the accident happened the community rallied around Avryn and his family, holding fundraisers at several local businesses around town in order to help with the families medical bills, including Dutch Bros, Longboard Louies East and Black Rock Coffee. One of the first businesses to jump on helping out Avryn and his family was Buckwild Sports


Bend Community Steps Up to Help Injured Bend Boy on His Long Road to Recovery

Two weeks after a horrific car accident nearly killed 10-year-old Avryn Hayes, the Bend community is stepping up to help his family as Avryn begins his long road to recovery. Central Oregon Daily’s Anyssa Bohanan looks at fundraisers scheduled for this weekend.

The “Swing for Avryn” softball tournament, hosted by Buckwild Sports and BendBroadband, will take place on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., while “Fish for Avryn,” hosted by the Central Oregon Fishing Report, will begin at noon on Saturday. Both events will be held at Pine Nursery Park.

10 Barrel Brewing Company will also be holding a fundraiser for Avryn from open to close on Saturday.

Avryn’s mother, Asheley, also wanted to thank everyone for their prayers and encourage the ongoing support as Avryn continues on his long road to recovery.