The third most senior member of the Bakersfield Police Department was arrested Wednesday, and placed on paid administrative leave, after a woman was found with visible injuries in the parking lot of the VIP Lounge around midnight earlier that same day, according to the department.

Assistant Police Chief Evan Demestihas, who is also a part-time lecturer of criminal justice at Cal State Bakersfield, surrendered himself to authorities at the Taft City jail after being ordered to do so by the BPD.

He was booked on suspicion of felony domestic assault and bonded out of jail before the end of the day.

The BPD says officers were dispatched to VIP Lounge at 5460 California Ave. to conduct a welfare check of a woman in the parking lot at 12:06 a.m. Wednesday. Investigators determined the woman had been the victim of domestic violence and identified the suspect as Demestihas, the law enforcement agency said in a news release.

BPD Sgt. Nathan McCauley said the woman was not immediately admitted to a hospital, and had been subjected to a physical attack that did not involve weapons.

The BPD did not reveal the identity of the woman, citing a policy of not identifying victims of domestic abuse.

Demestihas faces two investigations by the BPD, one criminal and the other internal.

“This is obviously something that is going to effect our department in a variety of ways,” McCauley said on Wednesday. “This is one of the highest leadership positions that we have, so it’s absolutely going to effect things.”

Bakersfield Police Chief Lyle Martin was out of town on Wednesday, but McCauley said the chief was shocked by the incident.

“The main message (the chief) wanted to stress, was that with any of these investigations, we take them absolutely seriously,” McCauley said. “Regardless of the person involved, these are going to be investigated thoroughly.”

It is not known why Demestihas surrendered himself to the Taft Jail. McCauley said BPD had planned to book Demestihas into the Kern County Jail.

A person at Demestihas’ home did not answer questions from The Californian.

On Wednesday evening, CSUB spokeswoman Jennifer Self said school officials had not yet had the chance to look into the incident. She said the college would begin to gather facts Thursday before possibly taking action.

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

Anyone with information regarding this investigation is encouraged to call Detective Peter Beagley at 326-3514 or the BPD at 327-7111.

(17) comments


I hope this is investigated completely and fairly. And let the chips fall where they may.


Just cover it up BPD as you did with your beloved priest Craig Harrison... CORRUPT!!


Did the Chief order his service weapon surrendered as well? We are talking about an alleged domestic violence charge. What about the DUI? Why was he allowed to surrender at the secluded Taft jail instead of downtown? I'm all for giving this guy justice and his day in court, however if it was you or I, it would have been handled much differently.


WOW! Reading all of the comments here sure proves that "Innocent until proven guilty" is a tenet that does not exist in the minds of some.


Yup. Pretty troublesome. In general, I’m not a fan of law enforcement, especially in this area. That being said, my reasons for feeling that way are based on a looong history of malfeasance and corruption. Does this guy have a long history of that? I don’t know. Never heard of him, which is why it’s pretty concerning that somehow all these commenters have decided the just thing to do is to crucify this guy before even hearing what the victim has to say, much less the accused! We’ve become a society of idiots who take the first thing they read as the gospel truth, and then close their eyes to anything that comes after.

The Jackal

Ironic he was going after a local political activists for his guns when he was the real threat the whole time. I heard he took a bride from a corrupt supervisor go after him. I also heard that he's a dirty cop from an inside source at the department.

The Jackal

Witnesses saw him assault her and try to sexually assault her. Plus there was video evidence with audio. And police have probable cause to rest him for felony domestic violence. Don't really seem innocent you know video doesn't really lie.


We as citizens do not know anything of people in Law Enforcements personal file or in their personal life, California is the most protected state in the union when it comes to laws that protect them and their files, so don't assume that a person that wears a uniform with a badge is squeaky clean, never lies or does anything that any ordinary Joe does, like get loaded & beat the lip stick out of a woman, I bet this is not the very first time he has play pinball with a woman head. It's funny how people post stuff like " he has done so much good in his life " please !!! I support Cops but I am never willing to say that they are prefect.

The Jackal

Nope the guy was a trash bag in my opinion. I saw it first hand.


Very sad. No doubt the guy, as assistant Chief, has zero prior record has done a lot of good over his career. If no one truly is above the law, then hopefully this guy's case will be reviewed by the same board/ group that reviews officer involved shootings.

The Jackal

A good cop said he was dirty guess he wasn't lying.


He was either drunk or has a temper. Either way he is not fit to wear the uniform we expect to honor and support. What does he do to those arrested or brought to justice when no one is looking. He is an example of all the law enforcement is not to be and needs to be fired whether he pleads out to a deal or not. He is a felon whether his attorney gets a deal for him or not.

The Jackal

I've seen his temper firsthand it's not surprising.


I am 100% for law enforcement. I have them in my family. But this has to be a time to fire and clean house. When we can't get law enforcement to respond to the homeless thefts and vandalism and the running red lights without any tickets our home is not safe. I have seen too many instances of people in accidents where officers will not come and crimes committed and no one comes. The police chief needs to assess whether the homeless pay his salary or the tax payers that take it in the shorts every day.


Lock him up!

Sandy Bender

Very sad for the victim. The assistant chief knows better. I hope he is punished to the fullest extent of the law.


EZ Bender. Constitution says innocent until proven guilty. Put the accent on “proven”. KC wolves always want to knee-jerk react and bury someone prematurely. Cops is just plain folks; no better—no worse. Perhaps the lady bashed him in the head with a beer bottle and he reacted with a two-piece combo. Maybe she pulled a knife or a gun and he showed her mercy by just neutralizing the threat. Dozens of possible scenarios. Police need to slow down as well. Seems like the PD big daddies smell a promotion opportunity opening up. Nice rank. Big pay raise. If the guy is from out of area—-he’s toast. Maybe it’s his girlfriend and she but his face for no reason. Let the facts come in. Be reasonable. If he was just being rotten, lock him up n throw away the keys. Women are the USA’s most precious resource. Keep yer hands off!!!

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